CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has formalized an agreement about the effort to support the college newspaper, the Daily Egyptian.
A document from the Illinois General Assembly was signed by University President Randy Dunn, Chairman with the Board of Trustees Randal Thomas, State Representative Brandon Phelps, State Representative Mike Bost, State Senator Gary Forby, State Senator Bill Haine and State Senator David Luechtefeld.
By signing, they agreed that the Daily Egyptian is an important part of the the School of Journalism, they agreed that the cessation of the newspaper would be "harmful to the image and operation of the university and the educational quality of the School of Journalism" and accept a $9 per semester student media fee and propose the fee on or before July 1, so that it can be billed along with other fees and charges associated with the Fall 2014 semester.
The Daily Egyptian is Southern Illinois University's source for news, but funds have run dry and the paper is over $200,000 in debt.
So, the paper asked the Board of Trustees for help from students with a $9 semester fee to cover the cost. But the decision was tabled on Thursday, May 8.
School President Randy Dunn stepped up and agreed to fund the paper for a year while the eagle looks for other outlets of revenue.
Several staff at the DE say a Journalism Department is nothing without a school newspaper, which is why they're not giving up just yet.
According to the paper's editor-in-chief, Kayli Plotner, they need support from the school in order to keep going.
The staff agrees, having a journalism degree requires experience, and without the Daily Egyptian students will lose out on just that.
"I hope it gets back on track because it is way too important for students here on campus," said Aaron Graff, who works as a sports reporter for the paper.
"I can tell you that we aren't going down without a fight and we are going to do everything we can to work with whoever we need to work with to make sure that we are still printing in august," said Sarah Gardner, the managing editor.
The paper's managing editor, Eric Fidler, said the reason it's facing such a shortfall is because of the lack in advertising.
In 2009, advertising brought in almost $1 million.
Over the last couple of years, the numbers stand at around $500,000.
The Daily Egyptian is almost 100 years old. It employs over 50 students from photography, print, and advertising, and has won 17 awards just this past semester.