Here’s something you may not have known: Every single student enrolled at Union is subscribed to the Concordiensis.
Your subscription fee is marketed to you (and billed to you) as part of the student activities fee, which amounts to about $351 per student, according to Director of Student Activities Matt Milless. It’s a compulsory fee included in the comprehensive fee, so every full-time, matriculated student is required to pay it.
Before anyone gets up in arms about being required to subscribe to the school newspaper, let me clarify: This has been how Union has funded the Concordiensis since 1917.
In the spring of 1917, the Student Body voted to make subscribing to the Concordiensis mandatory for all enrolled students, instating a $2.50 “tax” at registration, according to the “Encyclopedia of Union College History.”
This subscription fee was collected in addition to the dramatic and athletic taxes until 1934, when the three fees were combined into a “student tax,” which today takes the form of — you guessed it — the student activities fee.
There are approximately 2,200 students enrolled at Union, so after the student activities fee is collected from each and every one of you, the Student Forum Finance Committee has about $772,200 to dole out to clubs and organizations on campus. The Finance Committee uses this money to fund, according to the Union website, 80 clubs and organizations.
The Concordiensis’ budget amounts to $21,000, most of which goes toward printing (which costs us about $15,000 a year), so our budget comprises almost 3 percent of total funds collected through the student activities fee.
So, if 3 percent of your $351 student activities fee goes to the Concordiensis, you pay a $10.53 subscription fee to us each year. Personally, I think we’re underselling ourselves, but we’re also a much shorter newspaper than professional publications and we publish weekly, so $10.53 it is.
$10.53 can’t get you much, but it can get you two $5 footlongs from Subway, for example. And after four years at Union, the $42.12 you’ve spent subscribing to the Concordiensis can get you a nice down puffer vest on promotion from Uniqlo or eight $5 footlongs from Subway.
So, basically, if you’re reading this, you’re already a step ahead of a lot of other students in not wasting your money. You will have graduated from Union at the end of your four years here having spent your $42.12 to the fullest.
But you should tell the students who aren’t reading this that they should, because $42.12 may not be an earth-shattering sum, but it’s still money.
Choosing not to read the Concordiensis each week, or contribute to the newspaper when you can, is basically making the choice to give up $42.12 of your money or your parents’ money for a publication you’re actively choosing not to have a voice in or read.
Money is time. Spend yours wisely.