June 19, 2019 | 68° F

Daily Targum fails to pass referendum for 1st time since 1981


The Daily Targum failed to pass referendum across the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus for the first time since receiving its independence from the University in 1980, the student-run newspaper announced in a statement on social media last night. 

Now it must find a way to solve the “funding crisis” it finds itself in. 

“We do not know what the future holds, but the Targum Publishing Company’s Board of Trustees and staff will be working to address this funding crisis,” the statement said. 

Based on the voting results provided to the Targum by the Rutgers University Student Assembly Oversight Committee that oversaw this year’s referendum, the paper failed to receive the necessary amount of "yes" votes from eligible voters in all schools. 

Between April 1 and April 30, the referendum campaign needed to acquire "yes" votes from 25%+1 of eligible voters in the school. Any student with less than 105 credits was eligible to vote. 

In the School of Arts and Sciences, for instance, to pass the Targum needed 3,582 "yes" votes out of 14,322 eligible voters. It received a total 2,658 "yes" votes, with 1,198 votes for no. In Mason Gross School of the Arts, the Targum needed 144 "yes" votes to pass. It received 143 "yes" votes and 27 "no" votes out of 572 total eligible voters. 

In the School of Engineering, the Targum received 538 "yes" votes and 320 "no" votes out of 2,688 total eligible voters. It needed 673 "yes" votes needed to pass. Moreover, in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the Targum received 455 "yes" votes and 217 "no" votes out of 2,139 total eligible voters. It needed 536 "yes" votes to pass. 

If the referendum were to have passed, each student would have had a refundable $11.25 fee added to their term bill to fund the paper. Since the paper did not pass any of the schools, it has lost funding from student’s term bills from every school. 

The Targum gained its independence after being dependent on funding directly from the University since it began printing in 1869. This year, the paper transitioned into its 151st editorial board. 

Yet the paper hopes to work with its Board of Trustees and staff to find a new way of funding, and keep one of the oldest collegiate newspapers in the country open.

“The Daily Targum thanks the students, faculty, staff and administrators who supported referendum this year and will continue to serve the Rutgers community,” the statement said. 

UPDATE May 16, 2019: A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money for the company.


Brendan Brightman

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