With a history that spans well over 100 years, Canada’s oldest official student publication has long served the UNB community, and the city of Fredericton as a whole, by providing accurate, reliable and independent reporting of issues and events both on and off campus. Over the years we have shifted from offering a weekly newspaper to a monthly magazine and daily online content, but the one thing that has remained constant is the fact that everything we produce is released to the public free of charge.
“Free” things are never completely free though, are they? This is certainly true for The Brunswickan, which relies almost entirely on student media fees for its survival. The current Brunswickan fee of $2 per term has not increased since 2013 and while this amount was sufficient at the time, rising costs and declining ad revenue have had a significant effect on our day-to-day operations and the quality of content we are able to produce. All media entities have felt this crunch, including our peers at CHSR and The Baron (our sister publication at UNBSJ) who have also required fee increases over the years.
This year we are asking you to vote yes during the UNBSU election for a modest $1 fee increase, which would bring us more in line with the fees received by other local student media outlets.
The Brunswickan has successfully operated within a tight budget for years, but 2018-19 has proven particularly difficult from a fiscal perspective as we have had to make many cuts to remain afloat. This has included reducing the amount of magazines we are able to print and distribute each month, no longer distributing magazines off-campus to the wider community, reducing employee pay and eliminating positions such as sports editor.
Requesting a fee increase is not something we take lightly. We are all students ourselves and understand the frustration of watching fees and tuition increase every year when most of our budgets are already stretched thin. For this reason, we see it as our responsibility to ensure every dollar we receive is used to benefit the student body in some way. This not only means continuing to provide reliable reporting, quality writing and an outlet for students or community members who want to share their stories; it also means bringing you content where you want it and how you want it. This means more articles, videos, podcasts, and so forth released digitally on a daily basis to supplement our monthly print magazine.
In addition to asking for your vote to ensure the long term viability of The Brunswickan, we also want to hear your ideas and feedback. What do you want to see more of from The Brunswickan in the future? What did you like or dislike about our work this year or in the past? Send your thoughts, comments, questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us bring you the content you want.