Letter to the Editor: Fee decrease directly impacts educational experience

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As a woman who works full time and is enjoying life post-graduation, I oftentimes forget to look back at what got me to where I am today — except one thing: the Dixie Sun News.

It wasn’t even a year ago where I was in the same exact position as these student journalists at Dixie State University. I love watching them grow, seeing what issues they’re covering and continuing to provide news, even when a full class schedule and other commitments makes it difficult to do so. But I am disheartened to see the Dixie Sun having to, yet again, fight to not have their funding cut.
While cutting the Dixie Sun’s funding by 25 cents doesn’t seem like a lot, it adds up quick— resulting in a loss of education for these students. As a journalist for an exclusively online news organization, I frequently see the benefits of not printing a newspaper. However, if it weren’t for the Dixie Sun and the hours I spent learning the ins and outs of a print product, I would not possess the confidence I have in my job at St. George News.
From my understanding, the main reason the Student Fee Allocation Committee is cutting the Dixie Sun’s funding from $1 to 75 cents is because the staff produces waste from the leftover newspapers. While some newspapers end up recycled or thrown away, just like any other news organization, a lot of those papers are picked up by students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni like me. It’s impossible to track where these papers end up after being read.
By cutting the Dixie Sun’s funding, it’s likely the Student Fee Allocation Committee wouldn’t see a decrease in waste, but a decrease in educational opportunities for these journalists. This funding isn’t just for printing costs. I was lucky to have received a Dixie Sun scholarship each year for the three years I was on staff. Without these scholarships, some students wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience hands on experience to better themselves. This means a decrease in staff and an increase of administration wrongdoings going overlooked.
I don’t imagine the Student Fee Allocation Committee would cut the funding of other programs on campus, even though these programs also produce waste. So, why the Dixie Sun? Disrespect is something journalists have to deal with. Unfortunately, it’s part of the job. But I have never seen such blatant disrespect toward student journalists, especially those on the Dixie Sun.
I stand with them as they fight for something they care deeply about. And no, it’s not just a piece of paper. They care about news and making sure everyone on campus has access to it. I hope you will stand up for them too and request that the fee allocation committee doesn’t make this detrimental mistake.
Alumna Markee Heckenliable