To: Undergraduate Finance Board
Save the Indy
As former College Hill Independent editors and contributors, we are calling on the Undergraduate Finance Board to restore full funding to the Indy and other student publications.
Why is this important?
To whom it may concern:
We write as former College Hill Independent editors and contributors. We were dismayed to learn about looming cuts to the Indy and other campus publications, which could force many outlets to end their printed editions altogether. The Undergraduate Finance Board slashed budgets “out of the blue” and without explanation, according to editors quoted in an April 18 Brown Daily Herald article.
Students deserve better. For us and many others, the Indy was central to our education, to building community both on-campus and off-, and to gaining the practical experience that helped us build careers in writing, publishing, and design. The loss of the paper's print edition will mean a decline in the role the Indy plays on campus and in Providence at large, and a sharp reduction in the breadth and depth of the education it offers to students interested in exploring careers in media and the arts.
Hundreds of students at Brown and RISD contribute to the Indy every year. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds to express themselves through journalism, fiction, criticism, illustration, and more. The Indy provides a single forum for their collaboration, cutting across disciplinary boundaries and bringing diverse interests into direct conversation.
The paper is run by consensus. We worked together to meet layout and print deadlines, debate controversial editorial decisions, and collectively determine the direction of the publication. At the completion of each issue, we felt proud to have created an object that represented not just our individual viewpoints but our ability to work together. As more than 25 years of archives can show, the paper provides an ongoing record of the issues that students have found most urgent.
Because the paper is distributed throughout Providence, print has always been more than just a medium for the Indy. It is also a physical manifestation of Brown and RISD’s connection to to the larger Providence community. Students, faculty, and staff are very much a part of the life of Providence, and a print publication distributed beyond College Hill provides an opportunity to engage and critique the institutions' roles.
Many of us have gone on to have careers in graphic design, newspaper journalism, and publishing. Our contributions to the Indy came stapled to our first job applications. Killing the print paper would disadvantage current students hoping to pursue similar vocations.
We urge the Undergraduate Finance Board to reverse course. Restore full funding to the Indy and other campus publications, and protect Brown's commitment to student-run, student-organized publications.