Editorial: Student Life should not cut Dialogue

Editorial: Student Life should not cut Dialogue

It recently came to our attention that Student Life was asked to cut $10,000 from the budget of student organizations and made a recommendation to do so partly by eliminating the entirety of the print budget of Dialogue, Calvin’s only journal of commentary and the arts.

As the editors of Chimes, Dialogue’s sister organization, we are appalled that this would even be considered, especially without a discussion in which alternate ideas were shared and proposed.

Leaving aside the discussion of how feasible it would be for a print magazine to move to an online format in less than a year, leaving aside the question of how a growing readership would be crippled by such a change, we are concerned that this recommendation calls into question whether Student Life considers the existence of Dialogue — and student publications in general — to be worthwhile.

We believe that our publications form a unique and irreplaceable part of the Calvin College experience. As student organizations, Chimes and Dialogue are unique in that we are not only run exclusively by students, but we also produce a product that can be enjoyed and shared by the entire student body.

Chimes facilitates communities and discussions both within and outside of the college in a way that no other student organization comes close to doing. Dialogue provides a unique showcase for student artists and writers and has provided a place to feature the work of students who later became professors, ministers and successful artists.

The existence of these publications, however, is contingent on funding from the college. Chimes and Dialogue — unlike many other student organization — are unable to exist and fulfill their missions without funding. Dialogue in particular has been pared, streamlined and cut so that they have had to go from four issues down to two issues per year. To ask for more cuts is not asking them to be more responsible with their funds, it is removing their ability to exist as an organization.

We wonder if the time has come to propose alternative structures that would prevent decisions like this one that are not in the best interest of Chimes and Dialogue.

We are not opposed to talking about creative solutions to meet the latest budget reductions, we simply feel that this recommendation shows how vulnerable Dialogue and Chimes are to changes that could end their decades-long legacy of sharing student voices.

As an organization whose very mission is to promote and value student voices, Chimes believes that the voices of the students who work so hard week after week and year after year should be considered in these discussions about the future of their publication.

All we are asking is to continue the dialogue.

~Chimes leadership