Letter to the Editor
With the news swirling around this year about budget cuts and the death of the journalism program at Delta State, it saddens me to realize I was one of the final journalism graduates from this university.
I firmly believe the main goal of individuals, no matter what they do, is to make your footprint a positive one. Leave something in better shape than when you arrived.
I can’t say I’ve always been successful in that regard, but that is something that I set out to do during my time at Delta State.
I only spent three semesters on campus after transferring from Ole Miss, and honestly, it was exclusively to play baseball. Almost my only concern when transferring was the quality of the journalism program. What I found was a faculty that helped me find my way into the real world, despite the limitations that came with being a smaller university.
Since graduating almost 11 months ago, I am now working in a front office position for a minor league baseball league in Texas after an internship at a newspaper in Philadelphia, Miss., last summer. It is a fact that I wouldn’t be in this position without my experience as a journalism major at Delta State. The work I did with the soon-defunct print version of The Delta Statement directly landed me my first internship, which gave me the experience necessary for the job I have now.
It’s a slippery slope of hypotheticals to imagine where I would actually be if there had been no journalism program when I decided to transfer in the spring of 2013. The only certainty is that I would have never attended Delta State.
No matter how you look at it, a journalism program and student newspaper are necessities at universities. It is the voice of the students. The cutting of the program doesn’t make any sense, unless you buy into the possible political reasons that have been circulating for some time.
There has already been much published regarding specifics of the budget cuts and faculty concerns surrounding the death of the journalism program, but the letter from the SEJC is what stands out to me.
Their examination of the budget found that the savings from not printing a paper equated to approximately .01 percent of the overall budget. That’s like putting a green dot on a sheet of paper and saying you’re working on a color portrait. Actually, when you factor in the losses associated with the end of the journalism program and likely student transfers, it’s more like panning for gold specks with a mesh strainer.
More so, cutting the print edition of a school newspaper cheapens the experience of every student at Delta State. If you are preparing students for life after college, wouldn’t you want to create an atmosphere that allows students to have a medium in which to follow current events that impact them? The Delta Statement is tailored to reach the students and train them to be knowledgeable of these events to help them become productive members of society.
As an athlete, every player wants a cutout of a picture or article referencing their efforts to give their team a victory. It gives them a sort of validity and greater sense of accomplishment to all of the hard work they put in throughout the year. Not having a campus newspaper deprives those athletes of that experience, almost all of which will see their athletic careers end in Cleveland.
On the baseball team, each week players that had their name in the newspaper would have a copy of that cutout in their lockers. Someone wanted us to have tangible evidence of what we did for this university.
The person that went to all the trouble to place those in our lockers? Arguably the most impactful person in the history of Delta State. Boo Ferriss.
Casey Greene, Class of 2014