Category 5, Distraction referenda pass

Both the Category 5 and Distraction magazine referenda were each passed with more than 60 percent of students voting in favor of increases to the student activity fee, the Elections Commission announced Wednesday night.

Category 5 will receive 75 cents per undergraduate student per semester, and Distraction magazine will receive $1. This will bring the student activity fee to $139.75 per semester starting fall 2013.

Category 5 Vice-Chair Javier Hernandez said that, last year Category 5 went over its budget so this year there were cuts to Hurricane Force and a decrease in the number of pep rallies.

These funds will boost both programs for next year. Category 5 members have discussed having one pep rally for every game, but they want to make sure that the quality of pep rallies is not sacrificed, Hernandez said.

He said that pep rallies have improved since beginning nighttime rallies and adding food trucks, and more is to come based on any new ideas they have.

“We want to be giving as much to students as we possibly can,” he said.

Distraction Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Borge and Executive Editor Ashley Brozic said they were “excited” and “relieved” about the approval of the Distraction referendum, which will provide student funding for the student-lifestyle magazine.

“This year, we made a lot more efforts to make sure that we saved the magazine,” Borge said.

The efforts included releasing the February issue of the magazine during voting week and rallying staff members together to pass out flyers.

If the referendum had not been passed, Distraction may have ceased to exist.

“We would be unsure if Distraction would remain a permanent fixture on campus,” Borge said. “I can now graduate, come back in five years, and the magazine will still be there.”

With the money from student fees, both editors hope to improve the magazine by including more content and increasing its presence online. They also want to integrate the magazine with more organizations and events on campus.

“We want to make sure we can represent the University of Miami’s lifestyle as much as possible,” Brozic said.

Funds are currently used for production of the entire magazine from publishing and promoting the magazine to setting up photo shoots. The School of Communication (SoC) provides the bulk of the funds.

With the approval of the referendum, student fees will pay for the magazine’s printing, while the SoC’s money will support more events on campus, Borge and Brozic said. Borge also hopes to use advertising revenue to make Distraction a “force on campus.”

“It’s the start of a different chapter,” Borge said.