LTE: NISG responds to Times cancelation article



NISG penned a response to the Northern Iowan’s recent piece regarding student government’s recent decision to cancel their subscription to the New York Times.

Letter to the Editor

Editors Note: The following letter to the editor was submitted by Northern Iowa Student Government.

The Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) recently took notice to an article published in the Northern Iowan about our decision to reallocate money previously used for the New York Times subscription. This administration is not writing to criticize the editor of the original article, but in order to continue our mission of complete answers and transparency to students and faculty, we want to provide correct information to some of the inaccuracies of the original article.

The decision to reallocate the New York Times subscription was made back in March of 2018 by the Organization and Finance Committee during its annual week-long construction of the fiscal year budget. NISG reached out to former Director of Finance, Danielle Massey, to obtain a quote and further explain the decision made by the committee. She writes, “The previous years’ subscription was the cost quoted. In fiscal year 2018, NISG cut to an $8,000 contract with the New York Times in order to allocate more funding to student organizations.”

In total, NISG spent approximately $7,000, under our budgeted amount of $8,000. This is due in part because we returned 268 copies, over one month’s worth of newspapers because of an absence of interest, and were given money back. NISG received about 265 copies a month. The $3,771 expenditure outlined in the Thursday’s issue was a payment made by NISG for one semester’s worth of subscriptions, not the entire year.

Due to an extraordinary increase in student organization funding requests during last fiscal year, NISG made the decision that it would best serve the greater student body by providing support to more organizations and decreasing our own operational expenses. This included the reallocating of funds from the New York Times directly to student organizations.

That reallocated money now goes into the budgetary account so student organizations can host events that benefit a larger number of students. This can include, but not limited to diversity and inclusion efforts, entertainment, equipment for performances, and other important needs. The Organization and Finance Committee, composed by students and Senators, runs on a fixed budget and aims to support events and student organizations. NISG recommends that if faculty wishes to require readings, they should budget for subscriptions in their departments.

All budgets are available on our website for anyone wishing to view these in greater detail. If there are any questions regarding the budget, please reach out to our Director of Finance, Jacob Stites. If there are any further questions about NISG’s decision, please reach out to our Director of Public Relations, David Konfrst.

-Director of Public Relations David Konfrst, President Drew Stensland, Vice Preisdent Kristen Ahart