Campus media affected by opt-out fees
Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. (CTV Northern Ontario)
SUDBURY – A majority of Laurentian University students in Sudbury have taken up the decision to opt-out of fees funding the long-running campus newspaper and the student-run radio station.
"It's a whole new world for some of them where the best case scenario, they are getting 80% opt-out rates, so that's 1/5 of their funding. So they are just trying to figure out where they are now," said Eric Chapell, Laurentian SGA President.
An overwhelming 95% of students are opting out of funding campus media.
"Laurentians ability to communicate student issues both on campus and off campus I think will be seriously impacted," said Ashley Thomson, Lambda board member.
Thomson says Lambda, Laurentian University's student newspaper, brings light to important issues.
"I'm thinking of a couple of years ago, we had an expose of a harassment case in one of our areas, and that came out and it was actually picked up by the print media. I think student's perspectives need to be. We value our students, I mean they are the reason we are here," said Thomson.
With the cuts, Lambda will be publishing one final issue before moving to digital only.
Chapell thinks a major issue is a lack of understanding by students of what they will lose by opting out.
"Students may not even understand what they aren't funding. So I think as we see services start to change and claw back, we may see people wanting to opt back into things and supporting things more moving forward," said Chapell.
Thomson is hopeful a partnership can be arranged with Huntington University's Communications program for the newspaper.
The highest opt-in rates have been for sustainability issues, serving as a tell-tale sign of how important environmental issues are to the younger generation.