Editor's Note

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The Daily Californian and the ASUC Store Operations Board reached an agreement Tuesday to forgive half of the paper's unpaid rent and utilities payments and enter into a three-year lease agreement for our office in 600 Eshleman Hall.

The Daily Cal will repay the other half, equal to $14,244.50, and invite a student member of the Store Operations Board to sit on our board of directors.

If any of this strikes you as distasteful, I want to assure you that you are not alone.

As you are well aware, the Daily Cal has been under considerable financial strain this year. In addition to cutting our Wednesday print edition, we have slashed pay for our employees and scaled back in virtually every area of our operations. Seeing that our advertising revenue was not rebounding last fall, we made the decision not to pay our October rent, and pay roughly half-rent through the rest of the fiscal year ending in June.

That nonpayment amounted to a direct $28,489 loss to the ASUC and ASUC Auxilary.

The members of the Store Operations Board have been supportive of the Daily Cal in this difficult time, while recognizing that they must act in the best fiscal interests of the ASUC and campus.

Naturally there is a legitimate concern about how this loan forgiveness and board member position could affect our news and opinion coverage. Because we are indebted to the Store Operations Board, and because they will have a seat on our board of directors, I have to expect that some of our readers will call into question whether we are biased when covering issues pertaining to the ASUC or Store Operations Board.

Our readers should be assured that this is a temporary arrangement-the board position will expire when the loan has been repaid in full. Perhaps more importantly, the Daily Cal Board of Directors has no control in any way over newsroom operations or editorial decisions. The board, made up mostly of our own alumni, is responsible for financial oversight and long-term business operations. We will also seek to acknowlege this arrangement in any coverage when it might be relevant.

To further limit the appearance of a conflict of interest, the cross-over student board member may not be an elected official within the ASUC or Graduate Assembly.

The Store Operations Board was motivated to assist the Daily Cal precisely to ensure its independence. Despite editorial positions we have taken against Store Operations Board decisions in the last year, I am pleased that the board recognizes the importance of an independent press.

While my term ends this week, I am confident that our next editors, including the next editor in chief & president, Will Kane, will seek to uphold the separation between our newsroom and our business operations.

The Daily Cal and Store Operations Board further agreed to enter into a three-year lease agreement with the same terms as its previous arrangement, with $5,061 per month in rent and utility costs. The Daily Cal will continue to provide space for one full-page advertisement for the ASUC in each of the 30 weeks of instruction in the fall and spring semesters.

We appreciate the efforts many in the community have made on our behalf this year. We are here to serve you, but we rely on your support to ensure our lasting presence.

-Bryan Thomas

Editor in Chief & President


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