Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeOpinionOp-EdsTo Our Readers: Preserve Student Journalism at UCI

To Our Readers: Preserve Student Journalism at UCI

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Dear New University and UCI community,

Since 1968, the New University has strived to be the primary source for UCI and Irvine news. Now in our 54th year as a student-run independent publication, we encourage you to support us in our endeavor, the New University Student Fee Referendum, as a way to remain the No. 1 source for our community. 

As a “for UCI students, by UCI students” publication, our 11 section team — Campus News, City News, STEM, Arts and Entertainment, Opinion, Sports, Photo, Social Media, Video, Copy and Graphic Design — consists of UCI students who dedicate 10+ hours per week as members of the New University. For the past four years, this dedication has been completely voluntary and done without staff compensation. Along with the absence of staff compensation, the New U has not instated a weekly printed newspaper since 2018.

The purpose of the New University Student Fee Referendum is to provide necessary resources for the campus newspaper, secured student staff salary, reintroduction of a printed newspaper, access to personal New U equipment and software, and staff support resources. With the funds obtained, the New University will continue to expand its reporting as a student-run newspaper and preserve student journalism at UCI. 

For $1 per quarter or $3 annually, which is equivalent to just 0.01¢ per day for the nine-month academic year, we would greatly appreciate it if you could consider supporting the legacy that the New University has built — a legacy to provide credible and fact-checked news to our community. 

Without the passing of the New University Student Fee Referendum, our team of 80+ Editors, Interns and Contributing Writers will continue their efforts in formulating pitches, writing and editing articles without guaranteed staff compensation. Furthermore, the re-introduction of the printed newspaper would be put on pause and continue to face an indefinite future.

It is critical that the New University staff’s efforts are appreciated, and it is critical that the legacy of the New U newspaper can be maintained through a print edition. 

Without the New U team’s dedicated weekly efforts, the New University would cease to exist as UCI’s official campus newspaper. 

Moreover, the reintroduction of a print issue assists in maintaining the fundamental legacy of our newspaper — an era of UCI student journalists who utilize print to inform students of the breaking stories of the quarter — and will allow the campus community to retain a piece of UCI history, acting as a memento that can be tangibly held. 

Not only will the passing of the New University Student Fee Referendum support our goal of reintroducing printed newspapers and granting compensation to our staff, but it will also supplement personal New U equipment and software and staff support resources.

For the 2021-22 academic year, the STEM and Video sections were introduced to further encompass all aspects of the UCI population, in research and through video modalities, as well as adapt to the evolving journalism industry. Since all six written sections, photo, video and social media rely on visual mediums, personal New U photo and video equipment will increase the quality of the publication’s visual journalistic reporting. Additionally, access to annual software programs and journalism standard AP Style handbooks will assist in upholding the quality and credibility of our campus newspaper.

Although the nascent Classifieds ad section was made available in February 2022, it is yet to generate a steady flow of revenue for the publication, likewise with digital tile ads and the Donation page. As a result, the New University Student Fee Referendum will offer the greatest financial stability that the New University will have been granted since 2018. 

Whether you’re a member of the UCI community, a committed New U reader or someone who’s stumbled upon our publication, we thank you for your continued support of student journalism. Regardless of your affiliation with the New University, the publication will continue our efforts in being your No. 1 source for UCI and Irvine news. 

Join the New U in supporting our New University Student Fee Referendum here.


Ryan Mikeala Nguyen is the 2021-2022 Editor-in-Chief. She can be reached at eic@newuniversity.org.

Dear Reader,

We need your help. To the breaking news-informed, the album review connoisseurs, the sports statistics super fans; to everyone and anyone who cares about the existence of local journalism: we need your help.

The New University, UC Irvine’s official campus newspaper, has proudly served you since 1968, three years after the university was founded. What you may not know is that the New University is completely student-run, unaffiliated with any official university entities or departments, including the Literary Journalism program. 

For 54 years, the New University staff has worked to keep UCI and the surrounding community updated on everything university related, and then some. Being independent from UCI departments, we have the ability to report on UCI administration truthfully with no pressure to paint the university in only a flattering light. Our editors and writers work hard to shine light on controversial administrative decisions, elevate the issues that student victims of sexual assult and other crimes have faced with the university’s response, and provide campus-wide COVID updates during these last years of strangeness and uncertainty.

But it’s not all negative. Our reporters also work hard to feature the amazing accomplishments of the UCI community. From school sports, to ground breaking scientific research, to some truly exceptional clubs on campus, we have covered it all.

And we do all of it for free. 

The New University has never and does not plan to ever require subscriptions, because we believe giving our community and readership access to all of this information is the ultimate point of local journalism. To be transparent with you, the only way the New University receives funding is through donations and the little ads you may see on the side of your screen. It’s not much, but it’s something and it keeps the paper running.

Still, we are starting to run on fumes. Any student who is also working will tell you that it is hard to balance classes and studying and work and a social life and so, so much more. Being on the New University staff is a job, and an important one at that, which requires a heavy time commitment. Journalism isn’t easy. The life cycle of an article from pitch to publication is one that takes many hours in a very small period of time, and our writers and editors produce more than 10 articles every week. 

Our staff is amazing. We have interns, contributors, staff writers and editors who work countless hours to bring you the content that we have out of sheer will to let you read it. In my honest opinion, they all deserve to be paid.

To our UCI student readers, we need you to vote on the referendum for funding of the New University. We are asking for $1 per student per quarter, a total of $3 from you each school year. Cheaper than one cup of boba. To our non-UCI student readers, we need you to get your UCI friends to vote

Help us give our hard working staff compensation, and help us gain the financial ability to help fund their reporting efforts. Small things — compensating Arts and Entertainment writers for their ticket when they review a movie, providing a travel allowance for sports writers to report on away games — will only help the New University and our content grow and get better and better.

Support the New University referendum. A vote yes means you support your campus newspaper. A vote yes means you want to keep local journalism alive.

Thank you for reading.

Dhanika Pineda is the 2021-2022 Managing Editor. She can be reached at manager@newuniversity.org.