Southern Oregon University's Student Fees Committee has voted to fund the student newspaper, The Siskiyou, as a club next year, keeping the publication alive after university officials decided to cancel the newspaper course at the end of the year. Now it's up to communications students and others to step up and keep it going.
This year's editor, Eli Stillman, deserves much of the credit for saving the 90-year-old publication. Stillman, who took over as editor in January 2015, has graduated and is heading off to a full-time internship with the Daily Astorian.
Stillman and fellow journalism students took the advice of instructor Julie Akins and got the newspaper established as a club, which allowed them to apply for funding from student fees.
The Siskiyou ceased print publication in 2012 to save production costs, but it has thrived as an online-only publication, increasing its page views dramatically every year since. Online publication is a natural for a college campus, where students are from a generation familiar with digital media practically from birth.
But whether printed on paper or streamed online, solid, reliable information is vital to a functioning community, and the Student Fees Committee recognized that. Students who don't know what's happening on their campus can't participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
Communications students — or majors in any field — with an interest in keeping their classmates informed should join the club and keep The Siskiyou a vital part of SOU and the wider community.