The leaders of Western Michigan University's student-run media organizations are hoping that students will support a fee to pay for operations. The proposed $5 per-semester student assessment fee is on the ballot for student elections being held March 25th through the 29th. If students approve the fee, it will then be considered by Western's Board of Trustees.
WMUK's Gordon Evans spoke with WIDR General Manager Monica Rodriguez and Western Herald Editor in Chief Erin Gignac.
Gignac says the Western Herald and WIDR both provide hands-on experience for media that can't be offered in the classroom. A campaign Save Student Media has been launched.
Rodriguez says there are about 25 students working at WIDR with about another 15 members of the community who serve as volunteers. Gignac says the Western Herald has a staff of about 40 students.
If the student assessment fee is approved, WIDR, the Western Herald and other groups would come under one umbrella organization. They would share resources for their websites and learn various aspects of media.
Both Rodriguez and Gignac say their organizations have active alumni who are working on contingency plans in case the fee doesn't pass. But they are hoping that students see the value in the experience at both organizations as well as the information they provide through WIDR and the Western Herald.