West Georgia SGA passes bill to freeze money to student newspaper after publishing anti-Greek column

GEORGIA — The editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and a group of students at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton are protesting a series of proposals by the Student Government Association that would cut funding for the paper.

Editor-in-Chief Ellis Smith first heard about budget cuts April 23 when the new student body President Alan Webster proposed a bill that would temporarily freeze funding to the paper. The bill, called “Suspension of ‘the West Georgian,'” was passed the day after the newspaper ran Jacob Lovell’s column “Join a Frat with Buck Futter, Jr.” The opinion piece satirically stereotyped social fraternities and sororities on campus, leading to a vocal backlash from the Greek community.

Although the bill would temporarily cut all funding to the newspaper, Smith became more concerned over the Student Activity Fee Budget Allocation (SAFBA) committee’s recommendation to cut the West Georgian funding by $11,500 for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1.

The budget proposal for next year cuts $7,000 for the newspaper on the grounds that it was allotted for a faculty adviser position. The SAFBA committee said it was against policy to use student fees to pay faculty. The Theater Department also requested money for a staff position and was denied. Smith said the newspaper has been paying a staff adviser for years and could not understand why the budget was cut this year.

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By Liz White, SPLC staff writer

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