LUCC discusses Lawrentian funding, bylaws

Brian Zaander

At the LUCC meeting last Thursday, Plantz Hall representative and president-elect Cole DeLaney introduced two proposed by-law changes and a rules of order change. The first by-law change would require that all LUCC general council meetings be recorded made available to the student body. The proposal met with some challenges, with a number of representatives questioning whether the proposal went far enough and wondering if all meetings of all committees should be recorded.

The second by-law changes proposed that the committee on committees would take over the task of approving new clubs, a job that currently occupies a great deal of the general council’s time.

The proposed change to the rules of order would force student representatives to vote in all roll call votes before the council and not abstain. A number of council members were concerned that removing representatives’ power to abstain would lead to uninformed votes. Trevor Hall representative Randall Edwards was particularly vigorous in his opposition, promising to speak at length on the subject at the next meeting.

All three proposed changes were tabled until the next meeting (as is required with all by-law changes) and representatives will have the opportunity to vote on them next week, at the March 7 meeting.

A proposal was also made by The Lawrentian editors-in-chief to change the way by which The Lawrentian is funded.

Currently, the paper is funded through the same means as any other campus organization. Organizations must submit yearly budgets to the financial committee, a subcommittee of LUCC, for approval. LUCC then allocates a certain amount of money to that organization.

According to the proposal made by Andrew Karre and Ryan Marx, the editors-in-chief of The Lawrentian, the newspaper has historically been under funded. The new proposal offers a more realistic amount of money that will be needed to run the newspaper in the future.

Both representatives for the newspaper stressed the fact that the sluggish economy and the current depressed state of College Ave. have made it difficult for the newspaper to sell advertisement space. The lack of advertisement has hindered the newspaper’s ability to fund the cost of creating the publication.

Furthermore, the current funding method, according to Karre and Marx, presents a conflict of interest for the newspaper. While The Lawrentian must ask LUCC for funding, it must also report on LUCC’s actions. In their proposal, The Lawrentian stressed that this type of reporting and simultaneous funding “could be perceived by our readers as too much for any newspaper’s credibility to bear.” The proposal also states that while The Lawrentian does not feel that LUCC bears any malice toward the newspaper, the fact remains that the current funding method presents a clear conflict of interest for the newspaper.

Although LUCC did not vote on the approval of the new model for The Lawrentian funding, the members of LUCC did move into discussion about the proposal. Many members of LUCC felt that if they were to approve this new method for funding it would place the newspaper above other organizations by giving automatic annual allocations. Several members of LUCC felt that by giving annual allocations to the newspaper for the next five years, the students would no longer be able to express their opinions about the amount of money that The Lawrentian receives. If The Lawrentian does not have to ask for annual allocations, the newspaper’s funding will be out of the control of future Lawrence students.

After discussion of the new proposal, LUCC voted in favor of tabling the issue and opening discussion, and possibly a vote, on the new proposal at the next meeting.

During their meeting LUCC also voted on the recognition of a new student organization. The One Minute Left was approved as a new student group that will produce a biweekly paper that, according to their mission statement, will “include articles on local, national, and international news concerning progressive social/political issues.” The group will primarily print submissions from social-activist campus groups such as Greenfire, Downer Feminist Council, Pride, and Students for Leftist Action. The representatives from the group told the members of LUCC that their publication will be another place for students to publish their ideas. This paper will differ from The Lawrentian because of its political nature, as well as being shorter and having fewer copies printed.