There were mixed reviews among senators on the referendums recently passed to increase funding for Distraction Magazine and Ibis Yearbook.
In the Student Government elections two weeks ago, undergraduates passed referendums that would raise their student activity fee by $1 per semester to help fund the student publications. Distraction Magazine won the vote with 53 percent of the vote, while Ibis Yearbook won with 59 percent.
Many senators felt that the fee should not have been raised; they cited that it was additional resources spent that could have been used for something else. Others criticized that it was more money taken out of their pocket for publications that they do not read or will only read once a year.
“I see many yearbooks lying around on campus,” Senator Michael Babino said. “Not many students are interested in it, [Ibis Yearbook] seems to be over-publicizing it, which seems like a waste of resources. It is a very beautiful book; however, if many are not being used, that’s just additional resources wasted.”
However, the student body passed the referendums, and the senators were obligated to pass the bill because they represent the student body. A few senators either opposed or abstained from voting to demonstrate their disapproval.
“The issue I have is students are not recognizing that both publications are saving $1 a semester rather than a year,” Senator Candice Johnson said. “So, at minimum, they will get $20,000 a year, and in reality if they only said $1 a year they will get $10,000 each. That is $40,000 we are giving to student publications, and one of them only comes out once a year.”
Now certified by Student Government, the bill will go to Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Patricia Whitely, who will either confirm or deny the proposal. The senate also sent a letter to express their dissatisfaction with having to approve a bill a majority of the senators were against.