EDITOR'S NOTE: TigerTV is a beneficiary of student fees and acknowledges its unique role in this story. TigerTV works to present credible, unbiased journalism. Any opinions expressed in this piece belong solely to the author.
Former Manship School of Mass Communication Senator Frederick Bell expressed regret Tuesday night over the student senate's decision to move forward with legislation that could cut student media funding.
“I trusted my fellow senators to make the right decisions," Bell said. "For the most part, they did. But here, they fell short."
The SGCR No. 15 allows the student body to cut fees that support LSU’s yearbook, The Gumbo, and reallocate the fees for Legacy Magazine to other student media outlets.
Gumbo's fees are $8 a year for full time LSU students.
Bell voted against this legislation, but fellow Manship Senators Bridget Ryan and Bailey Allmon voted for it.
“I voted from a personal standpoint. I voted yes to a referendum to put the fees in front of students to vote if they wanted to keep or cut these two things,” Allmon said.
Student media employees say student government made this decision without directly informing them. They say they did not find out about the legislation until Monday, two weeks after the legislation passed with a 93 percent majority vote.
Director of Student Media John Friscia says the Manship Senators never contacted him directly.
“My expectation is that there would be more representation from senators that represent the Manship school,” Friscia said.
The possibility of cuts was considered at the student media board meetings on April 6, and student government posts their legislation online.
Friscia says that this budget cut could be detrimental to the future of student media.
“There would be some massive cuts across the board. We could be talking about a highly reduced radio operation a highly reduced TV Operation it could be the Reveille doesn’t print anymore,” Friscia said.
Both Bell and Allmon say they should have communicated better with Manship students and the employees of student media.
“I should’ve looked at it the week before, when it was made available to me, and then said 'Oh, this isn’t right' and brought it to some of my constituents’,” Bell said.
"Stepping back from the whole situation, I definitely agree that I should’ve done more as a senator," Allmon said.
Allmon also says that it was not her responsibility to communicate this legislation to the Manship students
“There’s nowhere in the bylaws stating that it’s my duty, but I probably should’ve done it,” she said.
Article III of the Student governing documents say "the primary duty of a student senator is to the constituency of his/her Academic Area,” but reporting legislation is not required.
Friscia says that he is very pleased with how his students conducted themselves in the meeting.
“I’m proud of how we represented ourselves tonight and that students showed up and had the support that we did and that they’re very passionate about the operation down here and they believe in the mission of journalism and how important it is to have a voice,” he said.
Students will vote on the SGCR No. 15 in the Fall 2018 semester.