This past Monday, the Associated Students of Whittier College’s Senate passed a bill that will take 33 percent of the funds from Media Council — the Quaker Campus, QCTV, Video Production Studios, KPOET Radio, WC Sports Network, and English Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta— and move it into accounts that Senate oversees. The bill was passed with an almost unanimous 12-1 vote after a contentious and divisive process that left many in the room wonderinghow a bill of this caliber and consequence can actually go through.
Many professors of English, including Professors Barnstone, Chihara, Burton, Donnelly, and Furman-Adams, as well as Wardman Librarian Mike Garabedian wrote letters seriously advising against passing this bill. Professor Chihara wrote, “Now would be a truly unwise time to pull funding from this important part of our community, and could potentially send a chilling message.” This advisement and those like it were ignored or dismissed. I say ignored because the table didn’t respond to them. I say dismissed because Vice President Sofia Dueñas said that because Media Council funds Sigma Tau Delta, senators should be wary of the English professors’ potential financial gain. This was astoundingly disrespectful and deeply troubling.
This bill was written with the claim that media organizations would still be able to operate as if a cut did not take place at all. I would assume, therefore, that in order to come to that conclusion, a series of collaborative meetings would have taken place before this bill was even drafted. In my opinion, an entire semester would need to be devoted to this huge undertaking. However, Media Council heads were told that a bill was being proposed an hour after they were first informed that the bill existed. It was only after many, many pleas from our various media heads that the bill was pushed to the next Senate meeting. Despite this plea, the bill was still unofficially read that same night.
Equally as disturbing was that many students and faculty memberssaid, after a month of discussion of the bill on the Senate table and a month of senators debating this bill with each other, that they would not have heard about the bill had it not been for the QC’s article last week. And yet the bill was still voted on.
As Editor-in-Chief of this paper, I understand the reason behind this cut. I just think we need to be critical of the haste and disconnection that this bill was written in. There was not due process.