SGA funds Zenith, KSTM after long discussion

by Zach JamesStaff Writer

In times of technological advances and money being low, the Student Government Association voted in favor of providing budgets of KSTM, Simpson College’s radio station and the Zenith, the school’s yearbook. Heated discussions took place prior to the vote, but when it was said and done, the money was allotted. “Although we got the budgets approved, much is ahead of us to improve both the Zenith and KSTM,” Chad Roberts, instructor of communications and student media specialist, said. “It helps that we got the money.” The amount approved for the Zenith was $22,300, a decrease from what the organization requested last year.Discussions concerning the Zenith were to decipher whether to have the annual edition as is or change it to an online version. According to Roberts, the communications department is willing to keep discussions of an online version open. “It would be a last resort for us,” Roberts said. “We want to do whatever we can to keep the Zenith as a hardcopy, but we also realize things change.” Senior class senator Allison Lane sees advantages to hard-copy editions. “A lot of thought went into it during the spring budget hearings and then this fall in open senate meetings,” Lane said. “Personally, I think we need to keep a paper yearbook as something that will outlast the changes in technology that will inevitably happen over time.” In order to keep a paper yearbook, improvements need to be made. “Little things like taking candid group photos of those who want to be in yearbook, bring students together for various events and random days and blogging on Simplicity,” said Zenith editor Kate Teachout. If the Zenith were to someday go online, Roberts pointed out a few drawbacks. “The most obvious one to me is if the transition is made, there are 15 students who are enrolled in a yearbook class which is credited. If changes were done, how would we have made that up to the students?” Roberts said. Another drawback includes students and alumni missing out on the tradition of a hard-copy yearbook coming out and students having a keepsake of memories made on campus. “It benefits a student body like any other,” Roberts said. “They can reminisce about the good old days. Also, when we have incoming freshmen coming in, we show them past years’ editions to show what student life is like here at Simpson.” The radio station budget was also called into question during recent meetings. The amount that the station was working with was $14,000. Since they are not a commercial station, inflowing money is at a premium. The programming is all student-based, including athletic events. When Newton-based KEDB offered to broadcast Simpson football, it opened up new opportunities for the station. However, the station needed for a budget approval at the meeting. They got it. Devin Sietstra and Kirk Ford are co-hosts during Monday afternoons on the campus station. They believe with the money, they could provide additional services to the student body. “If we could stream our shows online, people without radios or people that have class during our show times could listen to us later on the internet. This would also benefit people who live off campus and don’t receive KSTM,” Sietstra said. Although it is hard to determine how many Indianola residents listen to the station, numbers are down and are not projected to rise. “I would love to open up campus activity on KSTM,” Roberts said. “It will have to take student support, however. The same applies with the Zenith. If students become interested, nothing can knock down the great opportunities we have at Simpson.”