Thursday, April 4, 2019
Dear President Robbins:
We are writing you about an issue of grave concern to us. The Daily Wildcat, the university's student paper for 120 years, along with KAMP Student Radio and UATV Student Television, is slated to be relocated from our facility in the Park Student Union to make room for UA Global. As members and students of Arizona Student Media, we are deeply concerned that no suitable or comparable space has been identified for us and that the consequences — unintentional though they may be — could have a damaging impact on the student press and student media on our campus.
Although our facility in the Park Student Union was designed and built specifically for the Daily Wildcat, KAMP and UATV with input from students and staff from that era, we want to make clear that we understand that things change, priorities shift and we can accept the relocation. But we have an outstanding facility, and it was funded, in part, by a lot of donations from alumni and others. The Daily Wildcat Alumni Hall of Fame is housed here. The newsroom and our business areas are named for former advisers, all with funds raised from family and alumni. James E. Rogers, the Arizona Daily Star, the Marshall Foundation and the Center for Excellence and Ethics in Journalism join hundreds of other donors, mostly alumni, who have contributed over the last 15 years to our facility and programs.
So no, we don't want to move. But in the face of reality, we don't want to be unreasonable. All we ask is that we are not relocated to inferior space, that it be more or less equivalent in size and that it be convenient for our 200 student staff members to come and go. Most of all, our new space should be built out or remodeled to accommodate the challenging working needs we face in our reporting and editing, digital media and broadcasting. That's what we have now.
The professional staff at Arizona Student Media was only just made aware of these plans at the beginning of the semester, and we are apparently supposed to be moved by the summer. To be frank, the students of The Daily Wildcat, KAMP and UATV feel that this is an egregious oversight of our value and importance to the University of Arizona community. Student Media is our home. We work hard every day to ensure that our students, faculty, staff and community members are informed and represented through our coverage. This is where we learn, this is where we build our skills and this is where we fulfill our passions. We also bring the university national recognition, earning the highest honor in editorially independent college media — the Associated Collegiate Press’ Pacemaker Award — each of the past two years. Through this process with UA Global, we the students have been nothing more than an afterthought. While we will accept that we have to move, we refuse to be treated as though we don’t matter.
We know that you value the work of student journalists and appreciate what we do at Student Media every day. We need your help in ensuring Arizona Student Media has a future on our campus. We respectfully request your time to discuss the situation further. Thank you for your attention to our concerns.
Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Wildcat
General Manager, UATV
General Manager, KAMP Student Radio