Editorial: Save the Elm

The Elm staff got a taste of the real world recently. Due to budget cuts, we’ve had to slash two issues from the year, cut staff salaries, and reduce our color pages by fifty percent. Printing a paper costs much more than you would think, almost two thousand dollars per issue.

Two thousand dollars seems like too much for twelve pages, but just think about what a newspaper does. A newspaper informs, entertains, and unifies a campus. Packed inside those pages is a power most students overlook as they go through their busy schedules: the power of making you feel connected to a community. Particularly on a small campus, a newspaper is incredibly valuable and tightens the already close-knit nature of WC. Especially as The Elm branches out in new media with the website and video features, that power is multiplied and placed into the world of the internet.

We’ve gotten a few questions as to why we’re still printing a newspaper when we have a website, when it seems like the rest of the world is converting to an entirely online format. And especially during a time when budgets are lean, spending money on paper would seem ridiculous.

The Elm is a firm believer, however, in the value of a printed newspaper. There is there something extraordinary about feeling a work of art in your own hands, and it’s something to be savored and experienced. One of the values of the written word is being able to feel its pages as you’re absorbed in its story. Simply put, the value of the printed word exceeds the monetary value that could be saved by converting to the internet.

So why are we devoting an editorial to exposing icky costs and numbers? Because frankly, we need help. We’ve trimmed down our budget, already sacrificing a few staff positions and the aesthetic of the paper, and it’s still not enough. We need to raise over 2500 dollars to print out a full year’s worth of issue, and we just don’t have the time to fundraise that amount.

We ask you as a community to hold us accountable for the truth, and now we are asking you for monetary support. Even if it’s just a dollar, it helps. If you are interested in making a donation, please email elm_editor@washcoll.edu for details.

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