Based on committee approval, the Vice President of Student Affairs recommended today that a non-profit organization be formed to encompass the four branches of student media currently at Colorado State University.
A committee formed to evaluate the current structure of the Colorado State University student newspaper and to consider proposals for changes to the structure recommended two possible structures to Hughes, the chair of the committee. The majority of the 16-member committee supports the formation of a 501c3, which would make student media an independent, non-profit entity. The committee also supported the option of revising the current structure to strengthen the Student Board of Communications role and to allow external review of appeals of board decisions, and submitted both options to Hughes for consideration.
The four branches of student media are the Rocky Mountain Collegian, College Avenue Magazine, KCSU and CTV.
Hughes decided to follow the recommendation of the majority, stating that it would ensure the legal independence of student media in ways the other option would not. She forwarded the non-profit proposal to President Larry Edward Penley, who granted permission for Hughes to work out details to develop a proposal to the Board of Governors. The board oversees the university and owns the publishing rights and broadcasting licenses of student media. Hughes will form a working group to work through transition details before taking the formal proposal to the Board of Governors in June.
"This committee considered four structures of student media common across the nation, and, after discussing benefits and shortfalls of each model, including the current model. We felt that a non-profit organization focused on providing students with educational and real-world opportunities was the best option," said Hughes.
The committee has deliberated since mid-February, seeking public comment and suggestions for change to the structure from any organization interested in submitting a proposal.
The committee, charged with looking specifically at the Rocky Mountain Collegian, was formed earlier in the semester by Hughes and is made up of students, faculty, staff and community members. Penley asked Hughes to appoint a committee to review any proposals submitted to the university regarding the Collegian, after the Fort Collins Coloradoan approached the university to discuss a partnership with the student paper.
After a public call for proposals on March 17, the committee received one proposal, which advocated for a 501c3, for review. That proposal was presented to the committee on April 10 by student media.
The committee asked for proposals that could meet 17 specific criteria that support Penley’s request and include a specific description of how proposed changes would enhance services to students; the role of students in the propose structure, including information about who serves as editors; how salaries for students and professional staff will be addressed; the frequency, distribution, copy count and printing details for issues; how the paper’s relationship with other student media would be affected; and how services to the campus community would be enhanced.