Veritas News Editor-in-Chief Cody Shepard submitted “A Proposal to Expand the Readership of TheVeritasNews.com,” with the approval of Veritas adviser and visiting professor Jonathan Fitzgerald, to the president’s cabinet on Sept. 9.
On Tuesday, the cabinet discussed the Veritas’ proposal at their weekly meeting. On Wednesday, Provost Dr. Timothy Wooster, Vice President of Student Development and Retention Jeff Kirksey, SGA President Ryan Piesco, Fitzgerald, and Shepard met to further discuss the proposal process.
“The goal of the proposal is to expand the readership of the newspaper by removing the required login,” Shepard said. “We want to get the newspaper out online to alumni, friends of the college, parents, and anyone else that wants to read it.
Fitzgerald’s desire to have the login removed is twofold.
“I want the outside world to have the opportunity to see the excellent work that the student journalists are doing for our award-winning publication,” Fitzgerald said. He added, “Also, students need the ability to create an online portfolio in order to apply for writing jobs after college. Being able to point links to work on a credible publication goes a long way.”
The original proposal—“The Veritas News Online: A Proposal”—to move the Veritas online was approved in February of this year and the first online issue was published March 13. The process to create an online presence for the newspaper began when Bruce Faulkner was editor in chief in 2012.
Dr. Wooster noted that at that time, there was more consideration involved in the entire process than just moving the newspaper online. The journalism major was also being adapted.
“We wanted to build a quality paper, and here we are, and we have done it,” Wooster said. “We are still in the growing pains, and that’s what some of this is, but we’ve built a structure that is unique I feel, at least to our peer institutions, that is now award winning under the student leadership, which is fantastic.”
Although Shepard expressed frustration with the proposal taking seven weeks to make it to the cabinet’s agenda, Wooster said that proposals for the beginning of the year should be proposed in the spring of the previous year.
“Typically in the life of a college, a proposal that comes to the cabinet takes two months to go through its normal process of making it onto the agenda and being discussed,” Wooster said.
The Veritas did not receive an official decision on the proposal on Wednesday because the cabinet has raised a few concerns.
“I was disappointed that we didn’t get the decision we wanted on Wednesday, but I think the end of this process is near,” Shepard said. “I’m hopeful that we can get a publication board together before next week and get the proposal passed immediately to step into the 21st century.”
The cabinet would like to see a form of the publication board, as outlined in the Student Body Constitution, reinstated before making a decision on the proposal. The cabinet also needs a clarification from Shepard on the proposition of opening online comments.
Fitzgerald, Shepard, and Kirksey are meeting on Friday morning to further discuss the idea of a publication board.
“We hope to do that relatively quickly so that we can bring that back to the cabinet and get that established,” Kirksey said.