The Big Stew: Student Senate members upset with paper

This newspaper has come under fire by University Activities Director Ben Licht and other members of Student Senate after sponsoring The Big Wu’s Oct. 3 concert in Eau Claire.

The Spectator negotiated a deal with the band that allowed free ad space leading up to the concert. In exchange, The Spectator was one of the major sponsors for the event. Thirty-five tickets were also given to The Spectator by the band. A few tickets reached the general student population and some staff members of The Spectator used tickets, but most of them went unused.

Though Student Senate members have since backed off the issue and both sides seem pleased with the situation, Licht and other Student Senate members initially became upset over the arrangement, saying The Spectator made a poor business decision by giving away ad space. Licht also was upset about the newspaper sponsoring a non-University Activities Commission event, and with what he termed the newspaper’s poor coverage of UAC-sponsored events in the past.

Student Senators should be concerned with the way groups receiving student segregated fees operate financially, but Licht and Co. were way off base in becoming upset over this issue.

Because of the way printing presses and ad stacks work, it is often cheaper for a newspaper to print two extra pages. And let’s not forget the real benefit of the transaction: The Spectator got its name out in the community in an attempt to create a larger reader base and potential for more advertisers.

The Spectator’s name was on promotional posters and ads in other publications, tickets, and was announced to the crowd before the concert began – much like the Journal Sentinel, Star Tribune and almost every other major paper promote themselves.

The State: Regional Arts Center, where the event was held, was impressed with the organization of The Spectator staff throughout the process, and is considering running ads in the newspaper.

Sounds like nothing more than good business sense.