UC Davis has a print student newspaper again. Probably.
Today, UC Davis students voted to pass a fee initiative to bring back the California Aggie from its online-only dungeon and into newspaper racks across the city. Sound familiar? That’s right, students voted to pass a similar initiative two years ago, but it was kind of a nightmare. There were language problems in the referendum and, eventually, it was deemed invalid by student government court. Refresh your memory here.
In any case, the current staff tried again. This time, they went through all the proper channels months in advance to ensure the 2014 disaster wouldn’t happen again, according to editor in chief Scott Dresser. The necessary 20 percent of the student body came out to vote, and 70 percent said yes.
Students will pay $3.73 per quarter, with $2.80 going to the Aggie. That equates to roughly $240,000 per year. With that, the Aggie plans to hire a non-student business manager to help build a sustainable financial model in the years to come, much like the student newspapers at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Pretty much everyone who works at the Aggie will get paid a weekly stipend, which hasn’t happened in many years. Unlike the previous attempt, this fee will expire in five years.
“It’s a proud day for the campus and for journalism in general,” Dresser said. “I think it’s indicative that UC Davis students are curious, well-read and want to be informed. They want a student newspaper.”
So, what’s the catch? Technically, students vote on an “advisory” ballot. Chancellor Linda Katehi still must approve it and then UC President Janet Napolitano must sign off as well.