The CSUN Senate meeting on Nov. 21. began with Health Sciences Senator Rachel Stephens reading a letter addressing the senate from one of her constituents.
“Shame on you for your greed,” the letter read, accusing CSUN of spending too much money on things the student felt were not important. “My tuition is not to be used as your own personal credit card.”
The senate was split concerning $15,000 requested by the Lied Library to help in an effort to digitize copies of The Rebel Yell from its inception in 1954 to 2008, when the paper started keeping its current website.
The item was postponed until a later date after most senators expressed support for the funding in theory, but wanted to wait to see if the library could garner more funding first.
The library has existing paper and microfilm copies of The Rebel Yell, but the difficult nature of microfilm and the deterioration of paper prompted the library to move to digitize its collection.
A representative from the Lied Library said that its collection of The Rebel Yell editions are the most popular in the library’s archive.
Undergraduate Student Body President Sarah Saenz said that she was saddened by the postponing of the item.
“It’s a circular discussion,” Saenz said. “Because when [the library goes] to another department [for funding], they are going to say ‘We are going to wait and see what CSUN says.’”
According to Saenz, only one senator approached her about the project despite many senators proclaiming interest.
Liberal Arts Senator Mark Ciavola said that he felt that the student body did not read The Rebel Yell enough to make it worth supporting at the time, and that until the library garnered financial support from other organizations, that CSUN should wait to make a decision.
Hotel Administration Michael Rubin said that he was disappointed in some senators for not supporting the item.
“Think about what [the Lied Library] was up here representing,” Rubin said. “They were representing students as a whole.”
Rubin said that the rhetoric he heard used against the item by certain senators was motivated by political reasons rather than the wishes of their constituents, and that it resembled rhetoric used by “the Nazi Party.”
“We support The Rebel Yell,” he said. “We pay for them every year, and now we are going to say ‘you have to go elsewhere?’”
Nevada Student Affairs Director Ricardo Cornejo announced that he would be overseeing the implementation of a research team that would, according to him, help in identifying student opinion about various issues around campus.
Also in public comment, a non-traditional student warned the senate against supporting the Tobacco Free UNLV initiative. As the TFU initiative is funded through a grant awarded by the Center for Disease Control, the student opposed the use of tax dollars to fund a project that he felt did nothing in the way of helping to lower costs for students.
EDITORS NOTE: The Rebel Yell currently receives a dollar amount equivalent to 8.7 percent of the CSUN operating budget.
Contact Ian Whitaker at [email protected]