Talisman, SGA discuss financial options

Kaely Holloway

Talisman and Student Government Association representatives met with members of WKU’s yearbook, the Talisman, before Thanksgiving Break on Nov. 29 to discuss options for paying for the book.

“We talked with [SGA President] Keyana [Boka] and Brad [Cockrel] to see what they believed would be best long term for the Talisman and what they believed our options were,” Katie Honadle, Talisman editor-in-chief, said.

Last May, the Talisman budget was faced with a possible cut of $93,000 of its funding. That cut represented a loss of 47 percent of last year’s budget of $198,000, limited the numbers of books able to be produced.

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However, with the help of former Talisman adviser Katie Clark and other alumni, the organization created a social media campaign called “Save the Talisman,” and the budget was cut by a smaller amount.

The Talisman’s current budget is $127,000, with $45,000 coming from one-time funds from the university. The Herald will also supplement the budget, Chuck Clark, director of Student Publications, said.

Honadle said under current budget conditions, the Talisman is in danger of having to print 40 percent fewer books, from 5,000 down to 3,000. It is still in danger of being cut by almost 50 pages, from 400 to 352. This would be done in order to work with budget cuts and save money, while maintaining the quality of the book.

The reason for meeting stems from a student revote facilitated by SGA in 2005.

In 2005, a policy was included on a student ballot that would allow a $9 fee to be included in tuition to help cover the costs of producing the Talisman.

This was never implemented.

SGA debated the issue and their stance on it at their weekly meeting on Nov. 19. Senator Chris Costa called to revoke SGA’s stance on the implementation of a fee.

“They get money, but they’re wanting more money,” Costa said at the Nov. 19 meeting. “Number one, that’s a lot of money, and number two, students are not going to support this.”

Costa said money should be used more for academics and academic positions.

Two-thirds of SGA voted to reverse their stance at the meeting, though the policy as a whole was not revoked, because it was previously approved by student vote.

SGA’s Judicial Council, however, ruled that Costa’s motion to reverse their stance was unconstitutional at their meeting on Nov. 21.

“It’s not part of our process as SGA,” Boka said. “We pass our resolutions and bills through the senate.”

Judicial Council also ruled that the original 2005 policy passed was also unconstitutional. In their ruling, the Council stated it was never passed according to SGA policy. The student vote still stands in approval of the fee.

Honadle said a fee is not a permanent solution.

“We could get a sponsorship from a corporation, we could get a grant, we could raise money through selling ads,” Charlotte Turtle, Talisman adviser, said.

Turtle said the yearbook would require a budget of about $160,000 to maintain the quality of the 2013 book, which had 400 pages and 5,000 copies.

“The Talisman is known nationally as a publication, and we want to continue to give our students the opportunity to work for such a publication and gain great experience as well as producing something people will cherish for generations,” Honadle said.

Talisman representatives will be attending tonight’s SGA meeting to further discuss the publication and answer any questions or concerns regarding the issue.