Privilege Fee Committee recommends 13 percent decrease to Collegian Media Group

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The Privilege Fee committee recommends a $51,000 decrease to the Collegian Media Group budget for the next three fiscal years.

Max Harman, committee member and junior in biochemistry, said that was a fair number to arrive at.

“It maintains our goal of decreasing overall structure of priv fee both because of [COVID-19] and declining enrollment, but I think does so in a pretty good way,” Harman said. “That’s a significant number without hopefully significantly decreasing any services offered.”

CMG includes the Kansas State Collegian newspaper, Royal Purple yearbook and Manhappenin’ magazine. Privilege fee dollars help provide print publications, professional staff salaries and student worker salaries.

In a normal fiscal year, the Collegian Media Group is allocated $395,364, but because of the pandemic callback in May of three percent, the group was allocated $383,503. Additionally, CMG received a 10 percent callback in September, along with other privilege fee entities.

“When we look at how they’ve utilized their budget in the past, we’ve seen traditional underspending, I guess, and so this [13 percent decrease] makes up for that,” Blake Phillips, committee vice chair and sophomore in management information systems, said. “This encourages them to spend the money they are allocated.”

The committee debated the recommended cut as some committee members worried about equipment upgrades and potential future growth restrictions.

“[The Collegian Media Group] has a lot of students, I don’t think they should have to share with Wildcat Watch — which is a much smaller program than the Collegian Media Group,” Ashley Grills, committee member and sophomore in business administration, said. “They should be able to have all of those software programs.”

Some members argued, based on cuts already made, quality services are still being offered. The Collegian newspaper is printing once per week now and will not pay contributors for their first year of work.

The recommendation passed unanimously and will be introduced to Student Senate in the coming weeks.

The next Privilege Fee Committee meeting is 5:30 on Oct. 26 in Wildcat Chamber.

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Sean Schaper
My name is Sean Schaper, and I'm the assistant news editor for the Collegian. I’m a junior in journalism with a secondary focus in film studies. I grew up right outside of Kansas City in Leawood, Kansas. As a first-generation K-Stater, I look forward to leaving behind accurate coverage for the current and future Wildcat community.