Re-Fund The Rambler
UPDATE MAY 3:
This afternoon, members of The Rambler staff met with Interim Dean Michael Cairo and Vice President of Public Affairs Megan Moloney to discuss the future aspects of The Rambler for the 2019-2020 academic year.
At the meeting, Vice President Moloney and Dean Cairo asserted that there would be no overall funding cuts to The Rambler’s budget, but that there would be no monetary compensation or stipends contemplated for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The staff of The Rambler regards this meeting as an important step. Both parties are open to the idea of future meetings.
We the staff of The Rambler have been informed that:
- The Rambler has been effectively de-funded for the 2019-2020 academic year.
- This includes the replacement of current student media adviser Tom Martin with an as-yet unnamed faculty adviser; the position will now be unpaid.
- This also includes the removal of any compensation for students writers, editors, and staffers for The Rambler going forward.
- Interim Dean Michael Cairo has stated that there will be retained a “small” budget to cover expenses like software, but has not provided a number.
We the staff of The Rambler express our concern that:
- The removal of contracts demonstrates that the University does not prioritize a professional level of writing and reporting in its media.
- The removal of a professional adviser demonstrates that the University is not committed to providing a level of professionalism appropriate to the University’s stated expectations for journalism.
- The sudden and unexplained decision raises grave concerns about the editorial independence of The Rambler going forward.
- The small dollar amount, relative to the University revenues and budgets, used to fund The Rambler will not significantly impact the University’s budget in either direction, and so we do not believe that the decision to de-fund The Rambler was made for purely financial reasons.
We the staff of The Rambler therefore petition that:
- The University reinstate funding levels for the 2019-2020 academic year and years following at a level equivalent to the funding level for the 2018-2019 academic year.
- The University commit to renewing the contract for Mr. Tom Martin or an adviser of comparable professional experience and stature.
- The University commit in writing to a policy of editorial independence for The Rambler, and that any changes in funding be approved by the professional adviser.
Until these commitments on the part of the University are met, we the staff of The Rambler will undertake:
- An immediate severing of all Rambler contracts with the University.
- An immediate demand that all back pay be issued to all staffers with all possible speed.
- An immediate shutdown of all Rambler sites, including transyrambler.com and ramblerextra.com.
- An immediate shutdown of all Rambler social media accounts.
Further, we the staff of The Rambler urge the Transylvania community to:
- Contact all University administration including and especially Transylvania University President Seamus Carey to urge him to support an editorially independent and fully-funded student journalistic organization at Transylvania University. President Carey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.