A list of Frequently Asked Questions leading up to the March 21-23 referendum
The Capilano Courier Publishing Society is the autonomous, democratically-run student newspaper at Capilano University, operating independently of the CapU Administration and Capilano Students’ Union. We’ve been around since 1968 and have existed as an incorporated non-profit society since 1984. As of 2017, we are 98 per cent funded by students through a Student Publication Fee collected during the Fall and Spring terms. The remaining two per cent comes from advertising revenue. Our annual budget is ≈ $150,000. We publish 20 issues per year.
1) To improve the overall production quality of the newspaper, specifically through the creation of additional paid opportunities for student writers, editors, illustrators and photographers.
2) To bolster our digital, social and online presence in an effort to maximize our reach and ensure we remain relevant and successful in our mission to serve the campus community.
3) To offset diminishing enrolment numbers at Capilano University and an industry-wide decline in advertising revenue, without having to make additional cuts to our services or frequency.
Our current level of funding was set long before the rise of social media and web-based content, two streams that likely provide you with the majority of your news today. People – especially young people – read and experience print media much differently now than they did 10 years ago, or 10 years before that.
We are finding ourselves at a crossroads where print newspapers still have a sizeable audience in their original format, but are also expected to make themselves available across a variety of digital platforms.
For the past several years, the Courier has been shuffling its budget to meet these demands, but it has begun to come at a cost to our staff, operations and production frequency. Simply put, we have done all we can with what we have – so we are asking for a bit more.
The Student Publication Fee is currently set at $1.27 per credit, with a maximum of $16.94 per term, adjusted annually for inflation according to the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CCPI).
Did you know? We pay our contributors for all articles and illustrations they submit. At $30-100 per article, that means that any CapU student has the ability to make back their Student Publication Fee, simply by writing one article for us during the school year. Apply for an editorial position and you could make upwards of $200 per issue. It’s your money, and we encourage you to come and get it!
While the Student Publication Fee is adjusted annually for inflation according to the CCPI, we have not gone to referendum for a larger increase since 2007. At that time, a $0.40 increase was requested and approved.
We are asking for an increase of $0.19 per credit, and to raise the overall dollar cap by $2.04. Should this be successful, the Student Publication Fee would then be $1.46 per credit, with a maximum of $18.98 per term, adjusted annually for inflation according to the CCPI.
Because this is all we believe we need, and will need, for the foreseeable future. We did not want to create an unnecessary burden for current students by requesting more than was required to alleviate budget constraints and make modest expansions to our staff and services.
When would the fee increase take effect?
The fee increase would take effect prior to the start of the Fall 2017 semester. Note: the Student Publication Fee is only collected during the Fall and Spring terms, as the Courier’s production schedule runs from September to April at this time.
Though we really can’t stop you, we don’t recommend it. The protocol for doing this includes mailing us a letter, filling out a form and then delivering it in person during a very specific window of time at the beginning of each semester.
It’s pretty awkward – and what happens if one day you find yourself tempted to pick up one of these beautiful newspapers you’re no longer paying for? Then you’ll feel like you’re stealing. See, it’s really better if you stay.
First and foremost, the Capilano Courier is a publication created for students, by students, serving the North Vancouver and Sunshine Coast campuses of Capilano University.
The majority of our budget is devoted to paying student editors, writers, illustrators and photographers for their work and development, while creating a weekly newspaper that all students can access, both in print and online. Our society’s bylaws enforce a student-centric hiring policy, which will only continue to grow with the approval of this fee increase.
In our publications, we aim to cover the issues that affect you the most: campus life, post-secondary politics, as well as the ongoing happenings of students, alumni, Capilano Blues athletes, the University administration and the Capilano Students’ Union. We attend meetings, we go to events and we ask the tough questions. Simply put, we are the community newspaper at CapU, and we are here to serve you.
We also hold events of our own, intended to foster a culture of community and democratic freedom on campus. With your vote in favour of a modest increase to the Student Publication Fee, we will be able to further expand these outreach initiatives to include more educational and social opportunities for the benefit of all students, while ensuring the operational longevity of a Capilano University institution that has existed since 1968.
See you at the polls on March 21, 22 and 23!
on behalf of the Capilano Courier Publishing Society Board of Directors
Campus Life Editor
Community Relations Manager
Arts and Culture Editor