Wichita State student newspaper could lose half its funding

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Chance Swaim is finishing up his last year at Wichita State. He’s hoping the student newspaper he works for isn't on its last year as well.

“Really in July I started getting really bad vibes,” Sunflower Editor-in-Chief, Chance Swaim said.

Wichita State’s student run newspaper, The Sunflower, is now on the chopping block.

On Monday, the WSU Student Fees Committee recommended cutting The Sunflower’s funding to $55,000 for fiscal year 2019.

“We asked for $158,000. They recommended 55 but they went to go decide that in a closed meeting,” Swaim said.

Just before Wednesday’s forum, Wichita State President John Bardo called for the Student Fee Committee to reconvene and hold its meetings in public, so the newspaper will get the chance to hear why its funds are being cut.

“As a very strong, advocate for the First Amendment, I am very happy that they are now having open meetings and that they’re doing what they can to make sure that student voices are more involved in the process,” said Kylie Cameron, who works for The Sunflower.

The Sunflower believes the cuts are due to the paper’s investigative reporting of university leaders. In a student government meeting, students spoke out against the potential cuts.

“It would be a disservice to the students and as it was mentioned, to the First Amendment to not continue to fund an institution that does a good job,” previous Sunflower employee, Jose Incriago said.

Now the paper hopes they can change the university’s minds before they officially vote on the funding.

“The light always prevails, I feel like,” Swaim said.

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