Voting yes benefits all students
I have been reading the many different takes on the Targum referendum and have decided that a lot of misinformation is floating around, and because of this the larger point has been missed.
Targum has had a long tradition as the primary source of news for many, many years. It is the only campus newspaper that covers all five Rutgers-New Brunswick campuses: Busch, College Avenue, Cook, Douglass and Livingston. It is the only one that covers the city, state and national news and sports. It is also the only place where students have the ability to give voice to their opinions on a daily basis.
The referendum is asking for students to endorse the concept of a daily student-run newspaper on campus. If you don't like the Targum then change it, join it, write letters or get your refund back, but don't take away other students' ability to do the same thing. The Targum gives a voice to students that would otherwise be missing, and whether or not you agree with how that voice is used, diversity is an integral part of the college experience.
Targum also gives students a valuable tool. It teaches those of us who plan to go into journalism how to interview, craft and write a story, and it teaches editors how to manage a staff. It gives those interested in business an ability to put class work into action. It gives student leaders their first impression of the press and it teaches them how to deal with both a friendly and a hostile press. Sen. Toricelli, a former student leader at Rutgers, commented to me recently that the Targum was where he first learned how to talk to a reporter. These are not lessons that can be learned in a classroom, they are the unique lessons of having a daily campus paper.
Questions have also arisen about what would happen if referendum were to fail. I don't know which of these would happen but it would go something like this: on those campuses that referendum fails, drop off points may be eliminated, drop off points everywhere else would be fewer, circulation would drop, the diversion page would be reduced or cut out, there would be no jumble, no crossword. Associated Press stories about our government, our state and the outside world would be significantly decreased. The staff would become smaller, making it even more difficult for campus events to be covered. No, the Targum would not cease to exist, but it would cease to be an informative, comprehensive, award-winning paper.
Voting "no" on Targum referendum only takes away a learning experience from every University member. Voting "yes" does not support the Targum; you can get your money back in September. But voting "no" will do nothing but limit students' ability to have this valuable resource at their fingertips. Voting "yes" supports the idea of a student-run paper to give voice to student concerns and issues.
Cathleen Lewis is the former managing editor of The Daily Targum and a Douglass College senior.