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Carillon finds autonomy
By Dave Yasvinski
The University of Regina's student newspaper, The Carillon, will soon be on its own once plans to separate from the school's student union are finalized.
"We're in the final stages of negotiating autonomy from [URSU]," said Stephen Whitworth, editor-in-chief of The Carillon. "The process has been amicable."
Whitworth explained the autonomy process was initiated by URSU after The Carillon went into debt last year. "Our relationship with the student union has been in constant change and turmoil over the past 18 months."
Under the new contract which will soon be signed, URSU would no longer be The Carillon's publisher and would only be responsible for collecting a student levy for the paper. "We will have immediate financial autonomy. They won't be able to interfere with us in any way," Whitworth said.
URSU external coordinator, Sean McEachern, said this process is something which has been in the works for quite some time. "The newspaper itself had wanted to be a separate entity for a while so they can operate by themselves without us being their publisher," he said.
He added this is not something which was occurring because of an outstanding debt but because the URSU likes to see something it starts go off on its own. "I think it's good for both sides. The Carillon will have more freedom and a good learning experience and it will take responsibility off the student union's shoulders."
Ian Armour, president of Western's University Students' Council, said although the USC is The Gazette's publisher, both would probably prefer an autonomous situation. "The Gazette would have more freedom and I wouldn't be held accountable," he said.
Although it is not a direction they are moving in right now, Armour added he would not be opposed to the idea if the situation were right and both sides were happy with the arrangement. "It is an option we can consider but not something I currently see the need for."
However, Brendan Howe, editor-in-chief of The Gazette, said an independent newspaper would best serve students. "With an autonomous student newspaper, readers are guaranteed objective and unpolitically influenced coverage of campus events.
"I think it's something we should work towards for the benefit of the student body," he added.