Bryan Barton-Koala Editor, 2003-04
Brad Kohlenberg-Koala Editor, 2005-07
David Gregory-Koala Editor, 2007-08
Nicholle Pierro-Koala Editor, 2008- 2009
An open letter to the Associated Students Council and the UCSD administration from the Koala Editor Alumni Association (K.E.A.A.):
You are going to lose.
We are going to beat you again.
It is just a matter of how badly we will beat you, and how much time it will take.
You have two options in your attempt to shut us down:
1) You can make the temporary funding freeze permanent.
2) You can attempt to rewrite the funding rules in such a way that will allow the other 32 student media orgs to receive funding and refuse funding to the Koala.
If you choose to go with option one and cut off all funds to all student media orgs, this would be appealed until all on-campus appeals are exhausted. Now, we realize that you will drag your feet on this and try to play games, but eventually, you will have to say that there are no more UCSD appeals. At which point we will go to real court, in the real world, with real laws. In a country where the First Amendment is what our civilization was founded on, and the “principles of community” hold less weight then a marsupial pouch. It will become clear that your intent for cutting funding was because of the content of one org. You’ll probably lose in court, and perhaps get an injunction against you that will forever guarantee Koala funding.
But for the sake of argument, lets say that you win, and manage to cut off all media orgs’ funds. They will all die. Except for one …
The one that has been around for 28 years. The one that has a self-sustaining sister publication at SDSU. The one with the most dedicated staff. The one with the most committed alumni.
Ironically, your attempt to silence the Koala will destroy every newspaper except the Koala.
Let’s say you go with option two and, using your bureaucratic wizardry, you manage to write up some rules that include funding for every media org but the Koala. How you will be able to do that, we don’t know. As the only objective difference between the Koala from the other media orgs is that the Koala is twice as popular as the second most popular media org, with a readership of 66 percent of the campus (based on a 2001 A.S. election survey). You may think that the Koala not being able to get a professor to sign on as an adviser would differentiate us … but you would be wrong.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say that for once, we are not able to beat you at your own game, and we get defunded. This would be appealed until all on-campus appeals are exhausted. Now, we realize that you will drag your feet on this and try to play games, but eventually, you will have to say that there are no more UCSD appeals. At which point we will go to real court, in the real world, with real laws. In a country where the First Amendment is what our civilization was founded on, and the “principles of community” hold less weight then an AIDS patient. In this scenario, you don’t just lose, you get crushed and humiliated by Foundation for Individual Rights and Education, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Student Press Law Center and of course … us.
You might even have to pay us for the pain and suffering you caused! Wouldn’t that be rich!
It’s like we are in the TV show “Lost”: We are Jacob, and you are the Man in Black. We are mortal enemies, but always play by certain rules. By cutting our funding, you just broke the rules.
We are currently working on contingent plans that are so out-of-the-box, your conformist minds won’t be able to comprehend them — even as we start to roll them out. We have by no means pulled all the strings in making your lives miserable.
How about a Koala feature called “State Assemblyman of the Month”? How would you like to take calls from Sacramento asking why a UCSD newspaper has a picture of the Speaker with a *&^% in his mouth?
Do you know that you are considered “public figures” on this campus? Do you know what that allows us to do to you? No, you don’t, because us watching you debate First Amendment rights is like Socrates watching a debate on “Jersey Shore.”
We consistently beat you in your games with the rules that you wrote.
You have been trying to shut us down for 28 years and you have failed for 28 years. There is no reason to think it will be any different this year. We are smarter then you. We are slicker then you. We are quicker then you. We are defiantly funnier then you. And believe it or not, a large percentage (if not a majority) of the student population supports us.
Look, you guys are in a lose-LOSE BIG situation here. Just bite the bullet; apologize to us and tell us privately that our funding will be restored after everything blows over. This way, you still lose, but just not as badly.