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No space for student newspaper

After spending the past 25 years on the campus of UBC Okanagan, the school’s student run newspaper has been forced to find a new home.

The Phoenix packed up its cameras, computers, contributors and desks earlier this month and has temporarily set up shop at the home of the paper’s managing editor Alex Eastman.

According to an article in The Phoenix that details the situation, the decision came down to money.

The UBCO student union rents office and commercial space on campus; the newspaper had been paying $8,000 per year, or roughly 10 per cent of their annual operating budget. That pales in comparison to the $70,000 rent paid by food vendors Koi Sushi and Taco Del Mar, who are much more lucrative tenants.

As the student union undergoes a self-imposed audit, they are trying to find ways to best utilize space in the UNC building, and unfortunately a student newspaper that typically runs in the red was seen as unfeasible at this point in time.

The paper used to receive a $40,000 media fee as part of its budget, but that is now expected to be split in half with the launch of a campus radio station – Heat Radio.

This has also forced The Phoenix to cut down on the number of paid staff positions and scale back the number of issues, each of which will now max out at 24 pages.

The paper currently sports a $10,000 deficit, but it's believed a significant portion of that is uncollected advertising revenue.

The good news is that members of the UBCSUO have said they will revisit the space issue in the fall, provided the newspaper brings a clear, efficient plan to the table.

Other space saving measures will see the Pride Resource Centre and the Women’s Resource Centre share space in the old Phoenix office, a full service branch of RBC open up, and new space for Student Union Productions, a service for all events run by student associations on the UBCO campus.

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