The bottom line: facing down budget cuts

What would you do without The Torch?

We’re the only college newspaper in a 60 mile radius and represent a student voice for the thousands of students at Ferris.

Without us, you’d never know about all the fun things going on at Ferris or the less than savory actions of fellow students in the “On the Record” section.

Without The Torch, you might not have known about Representative Phil Potvin’s illegal dumping, the hike in tuitions, a non-biased voting guide that featured both major and third parties or my many opinions on various subjects from FSUS to slavery.

We’re a very diverse paper comparatively with other papers in the area, and we frequently win awards at a national level for college newspapers. We’re not some lame announcement that shows up in your Ferris email that you quickly glance at before hitting delete. We’re The Torch, and we believe in “Truth, Fairness and Accuracy” so much that it’s been frowned upon by several Ferris faculty members.

It would be untrue of me not to mention that I’ve been personally called out and yelled at by at least one faculty member on more than one occasion for an article I’ve written. I’ve also received letters from both happy and unhappy readers, and that’s just me.

Nearly everyone on staff has had some sort of flack or backlash from an article. With The Torch webpage getting nearly 8,000 hits in a month, we typically see comments on articles that have sparked debates and in some cases crashed our servers.

We have engaged readers and the community by sticking to our guns and not being pushed around by others who feel we should be public relations representatives for Ferris. We use our first amendment rights and show the college body and community at large what’s really going on, and we’ve been doing it since 1934.

All this being said, I’d like you to imagine a world without The Torch; for some of you, it’s a happy thing, because that means there’s no more Jax to bug you every Wednesday. My ego aside at how much I know I tick a person off, that also means that 29 other staff members would be jobless, and the student voice at large would be silenced.

If you’ve never been to other universities, they have entire buildings dedicated to their student newspaper–they’re proud to have it. Here at Ferris, we get shoved into an office with no windows and are told to pipe down.

Our summer edition for 2012 was “banned” from being placed into orientation packets because it was “too controversial” for freshmen–which if there are any freshmen reading this right now I’d like to ask you, what did you think of it? I went out with a few of my coworkers every day of orientation and personally handed papers to the incoming class.

We do things like this because we care about you the students, the faculty and about this paper and Ferris at large. We operate on a shoestring budget—I mean this in the greatest sense. If this was my only job, I’d be homeless because it woudn’t pay the rent. We print only once a week, where some universities will print three times a week or even daily. We simply don’t have the budget to do it. I would hazard to say that under the current conditions, we may not have a budget at all in the coming years. Some people think so harshly of us that they’re pushing to have us cut altogether.

We write for you, not for us. Writing is one of the few skills I have that I can use to make the world a better place. I’m using it now to ask all of you a favor—read. Read everything you come across. We make this paper for you and love it when we see it in someone’s hands being read or even turned into a funny hat.

This is your voice, and without it, they’ll silence you next. Don’t let them take us away from you; show some love for the little paper that could.