PORTALES, N.M.(KRQE) – There is some controversy over a New Mexico university’s plans to do away with the school paper.
Students were outraged when they found out the paper was losing its funding from school fees. Now the university is having second thoughts.
The Chase, a student run newspaper, has been around for more than 80 years. It is a treasure to many students here at Eastern New Mexico University.
“They’re the student voice for, to go out and let us know what’s going on campus and what’s going on in our community,” said Jonathan Benedetti, ENMU student.
Now some students are upset after the student fees board made the decision not to give any of their $1.6 million budget to a handful of student media programs.
“Three organization within the fine art departments and those were the only three organizations, were cut, that is theater and dance, they were cut by 4% and The Chase which is our student newspaper was cut completely, as was Houndwaves, our student radio,” said Emma Pennypacker, editor for The Chase.
This school year the chase was given about $11,000 of student fee money. Next year, they are getting zero.
“The content was called, described as not being student friendly, this is a paper that is wrtitten by students for students,” said Pennypacker.
That has students claiming the school is trying to stifle free speech and that ENMU cares more about a new football stadium than student journalism.
Members of ENMU’s student government say that’s just not true.
“I personally feel that we are being slandered, and that people are misinformed on the information simply because you know it sounds good,” said Halle Pittman, a member of student government.
Officials with the student fees board say that both the paper and the radio station will have budget money left over from this year but the paper disputes that.
“The university said we will pick up that money, we will pick up that $11,300 and we will fund them for them if they will, if they want to continue to have a print version and also an online version,” said Draco Miller, ENMU campus life director.
The money will come from ENMU’s main budget.