AP: Lack of funds halts century-old tradition at FHSU
HAYS (AP) — The student newspaper at Fort Hays State University has halted its print edition after its funding was slashed.
"We can't publish," said Molly Walter, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, called the University Leader. "There's no funds."
The Hays Daily News reports that the Student Government Association voted last spring to cut funding to $19,750 from $32,250. Student Government leaders mentioned readership as an issue.
The last print issue was published Thursday. For the foreseeable future, the student journalists will produce news online only.
In 2003, the Student Government Association also pulled the plug on funding for the Reveille, the university's yearbook.
Larry Gould, the university's provost and chief academic officer, said the university doesn't want to eliminate the Leader but "wanted it tied back into academic affairs."
Before 2003, the Leader was a recognized student organization overseen by student affairs. Students working on the newspaper could enroll in a one-hour lab class run through the communication department and earn academic credit, said Linn Ann Huntington, professor and director of journalism.
Huntington served as Leader adviser from 1990 until 2003, when the Leader lab was taken out of the academic program and became "just an extracurricular activity." That meant students no longer got academic credit.
"It has been a free-standing program with no connection to the academic program since that time," Huntington said.
University officials are putting together a task force to discuss what should happen next. Gould said he's looking forward to the process of crafting a "better education experience" for students.
Meanwhile, the Leader staff is requesting $75,000 for the upcoming school year and would like to bring the publication back in the fall, Walter said.