There are a number of student publications at Wellesley that fill an important niche in our college community, including Counterpoint, GenerAsians, Legenda, the Globalist and The Wellesley Review. These and other publications help project and amplify many diverse voices. While Counterpoint is an offbeat, self-proclaimed journal of campus life published eight times a year, GenerAsians raises campus awareness on issues and perspectives of Wellesley students of Asian descent. On the other side of the spectrum, the Wellesley Review is a biannual literature and arts publication that shares the works of professors and students alike to a wide audience. Such publications are crucial in bringing awareness to the different voices, events and talents of the student population.
The high quality of Wellesley student publications is indisputable, but their success mostly depends on their ability to reach their audiences. Because these publications are most effective when they are accessible, it is crucial to fund student publications in order to fulfill student demand.
Recently, SOFC voted to limit publications to 300 copies a semester with potential to appeal for an additional 100 copies. The cap will be in effect in the Spring 2015 semester.
Counterpoint currently publishes close to 2,400 copies a semester. GenerAsians (GA) has also seen major cuts, receiving none of the $3,750 of Emergency Fall Funding they requested. According to GA editors-in-chief, the organization did not receive any money from SOFC to print the magazine after several rounds of appeals, yet still received funding for movie screenings and study breaks. This allocation is disappointing as the publication has historically relied on SOFC as a major source of funding for printing.
The Wellesley Review printed and distributed 1,200 copies last spring. The 200 percent increase in submissions to the publication suggests that there is high interest. The cap cuts printing of The Wellesley Review by 75 percent and fails to meet student demand. The 385 reported requests for copies of The Review in an informal survey underestimate the true student demand.
As a student-run publication ourselves, we know that hundreds of hours are put into each publication. Students involved in these orgs are notorious for late nights and excessive workloads. Cutting funding shifts the focus from producing quality work to scrambling for funds, resulting in a lose-lose outcome for both the publication and the audience.
SOFC plans revisit the publication cap at today’s meeting. The Wellesley News editorial staff urges SOFC members to reconsider the cap for student publications on campus. Although The Wellesley News is a guaranteed percentage org and is thus not affected by the cap, we believe in the importance of student publications to foster student expression, start campus dialogues, as well as give students journalism experience and provide an alternative source of media on campus.
Sabrina Leung ‘18 is the Digital Editor majoring in International Relations-Political Science with a minor in History. She is best reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @sabrinatzleung on Twitter.