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Not just kindling but good readin’: Multi-purpose newsrag heads into referendum

No matter what you use it for, The Cascade needs your help. Next week, we’re heading to referendum for a fee increase, and there are a couple of reasons why.

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By Dessa Bayrock (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: January 22, 2014

You, too, could have a Captain Cascade hat. Fashionable!  (Image:  Cascade archives)

You, too, could have a Captain Cascade hat. Fashionable!
(Image: Cascade archives)

This newspaper has many uses.

We cleaned our offices over the winter break, unearthing a box of old photos. Among them were images of The Cascade made into a joint, a roll of toilet paper, and folded newspaper hats for both people and dogs.

In more recent memory, we’ve given away old issues to be used as kindling. A particularly memorable pile of old issues were sacrificed to a student working on a papier-mâché art installation last semester.

Wandering around campus, I’ve seen The Cascade used to mop up spills, prop open windows, and act as tablecloths. I’ve picked up more than one issue that found a home as something to doodle on.

This year we even embraced this trend; our Christmas issue doubled as wrapping paper. Judging by how quickly the issues in D building were shucked of their covers, we helped cut costs for at least one budget-conscious student.

But more than any of that, no matter how entertaining or inventive these uses are, we hope you read it.

The truth is, we have no idea who reads the paper. It could be everyone, and it could be no one. Occasionally we get emails complimenting The Cascade’s grammar or criticizing its coverage, but not often. We release our papers into a void. You could be using it for kindling or papier mâché and never read a single word. Then again, you could be flipping straight to the Sudoku puzzle every week. Who knows – maybe you’re actually interested in our SUS coverage.

No matter what you use it for, The Cascade needs your help.

Next week, we’re heading to referendum for a fee increase, and there are a couple of reasons why.

First, the facts: for as long as anyone can remember, The Cascade student fee has been $4.50 per semester. With CIVL’s recent fee increase, that makes us the lowest fee on campus. With this referendum, we’re asking to increase that by $1.50 — we’ll still be the lowest fee on campus, at a grand total of $6 a semester.

We’re also asking for permission to tie the fee to inflation, so we can still cover our expenses as the cost of living and printing rises every year.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a lot. This is my sixth (and final) year at UFV. My semesterly contribution to The Cascade has cost me a little under $60, compared to the $17,000 I’ve paid in tuition. Overall, I’m not too bummed about it. I hope you aren’t either.

We’ve seen a fee increase coming for a long, long time – every year, printing costs get just a little more expensive. We’ve tightened budgets, but as every student knows there’s only so much you can tighten a budget.

So we’re asking you for help. This isn’t just a fee increase, but would translate into an increase in both the quality and quantity of our content. In the future we hope to expand into multimedia, offering infographics and video coverage among other original online content. We would be able to hire more students on staff as writers, reporters, editors, ad salespeople, designers — the list goes on. We hope to host guest speakers and events on campus, and in a perfect world we can afford glossy paper for the cover.

At the end of the day, we’re hoping that you, our reader, the average student, will be willing to spare us a buck and a half. We’re your kindling, your makeshift tablecloths, something to sop up a spill in a hurry. But we’re also your student paper. We tell you what SUS is doing and what UFV is up to, and where your other student fees are going. We train the next generation of journalists, helping students get experience in writing, editing, and creating. We create 20 pages of distraction to help get you through the agonizingly boring time you waste between classes or waiting for the bus. We’re here for you, whatever you need. And yes, this paper does make an excellent hat for your dog if you’re looking for materials.

But no matter what you use it for, I hope that you think this paper is worth an extra $1.50 a semester. Either way, you can let us know next week. Our referendum runs from January 29 to 31 under surveys on myUFV.

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