Editorial – Beyond the Numbers

AUSU has put out their latest services survey. If you haven’t already answered it and you enjoy The Voice Magazine, then you should really take a few moments to fill it out. You could not only win some gift certificates to a store of your choosing (which seems odd, why not just send cash?) but you’ll help Council determine what services are worth the money they spend. The Voice Magazine is always in an interesting position for these things. We are the largest single item in the AUSU budget. It costs us close to $75,000/yr to bring you weekly articles keeping you up to date with what’s going on at AU and AUSU, as well as giving you a sort of connection to the thoughts and ideas of other students. But when you cost that much, naturally they want to see some results.

I always argue that The Voice Magazine‘s worth can’t be boiled down to simply the number of readers, though That’s obviously a key metric, and I’ve been hammering on that theme for long enough now that I’m confident that most of this Council understands that.

If nothing else, just by existing and reporting on Council activities, we act to ensure Councillors remember they are being watched by the students. And while AUSU Council watches AU for the students, so do we. But where AUSU Councillors may have to bite their tongues a little bit as they try to be politic and win concessions for the students, we don’t have to. Both of these reasons are why It’s important to have not just some sort of student media, but independent student media, regardless of the actual readership. Just the knowledge that they’re being watched, written about, and, if something controversial happens, could find stories being quickly shared and spread, can serve as a type of support to avoid doing anything that might be questionable.

Also, I like to keep in mind that almost half of that money ends up being turned around and sent right back out to the student writers of The Voice Magazine. And that some of those writers take the experience they gain here and use that to push themselves forward in writing as a profession. There are lots of good reasons, in my mind, to support The Voice Magazine beyond the simple readership. That said, numbers are easy to understand and compare and it can be hard to argue against them. So help make it easier for AUSU Council to understand the value of The Voice Magazine by giving them the numbers that make the case, and fill out the survey.

And since we’re talking about numbers, if you haven’t already, consider subscribing to our Facebook page. You’ll get little previews of what’s coming up each week, a reminder when the new issue is out, and if You’re interested in writing for The Voice Magazine, but don’t know what to write, the Facebook page is typically where I put out notices looking for people to write specific types of articles. You could be one of those students we pay.

After You’re done all that, come on back and start with our feature article, as Barb Lehtiniemi looks ahead to the home stretch of her degree. We’ve also got a lot of inspirational articles this week, as a bit of a change from the emotionally heavy articles of last week, plus, of course, news, reviews, interviews, events, and just things to make you think. Enjoy the read!

P.S. If you didn’t already know, The Voice Magazine has a Facebook page and a twitter feed if You’re into that kind of thing!