“Rage against the machine, man! Now, where’s my stipend paycheck?”
The Student Insurgent had its PFC meeting tonight, one in which they asked for a mere $23,519. Unfortunately, they had to settle for just $22,222.
There were several crucial moments in the hearing, most of which hovered around the Student Insurgent‘s rather dubious delegation of their funding. The Insurgent admitted to printing only 7 issues last year (actually, they guessed because “no one could remember”. We personally think it was more like 5) on a budget of $21,427 – a whopping $3,061 an issue. They vowed to increase their production this year all the way up to 9 issues, meaning each issue for next year will have a reasonable price tag of just $2,469.
If you’d like a little comparison, the Commentator expects to produce 15 issues this year at an average cost of about $1,500 an issue.
A question was then raised about the conduct at the Anarchist Book Fair in San Francisco. Sen. Alyssa Diamond mentioned a letter from a non-Insurgent staffer that was printed in an issue of the Insurgent last Spring. In the letter, Diamond mentioned that the student had reported “Not attending the fair and that all they did was party”. Abby Bluth, an Insurgent Co-Editor noted that, “It goes against what we are to control what people are doing [at the book fair].”
Unfortunately for the Insurgent, it is the job of the PFC to control what people do with student funds. Several members of the PFC expressed concern over student funds not going towards their intended activities. Diamond and PFC member Giovanni Battles agreed that when students travel on I-Fee money they are representatives of the University of Oregon and its students.
The other concern about the Anarchist Book Fair was the Insurgent‘s decision to print the aforementioned letter in their magazine. Several members of the PFC agreed that publicly displaying that kind of information was probably irresponsible. If you ask us, the decision to print the letter was just fucking stupid.
The Insurgent‘s $22,222 also accounts for $3,825 in stipend positions, divvied up between 4 Co-Editors. The Insurgent‘s reason for their stipend positions? “Because, well… you know, a lot of us do a lot of work,” said Bluth. It’s hard to understand why the Insurgent staffers think they should be paid to gain experience in the field of journalism, especially to the financial detriment of students. Why you need to pay 4 people to oversee $20k+ of student funding to the tune of 7 issues a year is beyond us.
Another concern that was raised at the meeting was the Insurgent‘s practice of distributing articles to prisoners and other “subscribers” off campus. It was noted that out of an average of 1500 copies printed for each issue, approximately 600 of these were sent off campus. In case you’re bad at math, that means that 40% of the Insurgent’s copy doesn’t go to students. You know, the people who pay for the Insurgent. In the end, it’s hard to understand just why the “radical” publication has such a tremendous budget (the Commentator received around $9,000 less than the Insurgent).
For the Insurgent, it must be difficult sticking it to the system while simultaneously suckling at its money-flavored teat.