USUAA endorses media budget, E. Bunny gives candy in Student Union

The UAA Student Union was temporarily disrupted by a harmless but maniacal man in an Easter Bunny costume distributing chocolate. USUAA’s meeting in the lower level was unfazed. (Photo by Tim Brown)
The UAA Student Union was temporarily disrupted by a harmless but maniacal man in an Easter Bunny costume distributing chocolate. USUAA’s meeting in the lower level was unfazed. (Photo by Tim Brown)

The UAA Media Board, The Northern Light and KRUA 88.1 FM shared their budget for the 2014 fiscal year with the Union of Students at the University of Alaska meeting March 29. USUAA unanimously endorsed all proposed budgets.

Emily McLaughlin, a student representative of the media board, spoke to USUAA about the TNL and KRUA budget. She said student media fees are split evenly between both the student organizations. The student media board unanimously approved their annual budget at their monthly meeting March 22.

TNL executive editor Jolene Almendarez said the January redesign of the paper, which made the paper dimensionally larger, was well received. She also said the staff has been consistently growing since the beginning of the fiscal year.

TNL advertising manager Chelsea Dennis said TNL has budgeted to hire an ad representative in the next fiscal year. The representative will recruit new companies for advertisement, among other responsibilities.

Almendarez said there is an extra $500 being allocated to pay student contract writers for TNL because there is increased interest in students to write articles.

Almendarez said $78,348 was spent on printing costs last fiscal year, producing 34 issues of the paper. $89,630 will be spent on the printing cost for the next fiscal year to produce 38 issues and covering increased printing costs.

TNL managing editor Ashley Snyder said TNL is nearly eliminating a program that mails newspapers out for free to those who request it. Libraries, contributors and certain esteemed former colleagues and contributors to the journalism department will still receive the paper. There may be a subscription option for those still interested in receiving a print copy to at their home, but that option has not been verified yet.

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TNL is sending out two postcards per year to current subscribers whose services will be cancelled. These cards will inform them that the newspaper is still available online in a digital version.

Snyder said extra money is also allotted for campaigns and TNL gear in the coming fiscal year.

An extra $300 was also added to the budget for Source Awards. Snyder said The Source Awards are an annual award ceremony with free food for article contributors, or “sources,” held twice a year.

KRUA station manager Audriana Pleas UAA’s student-run radio station, presented an outline of the station’s mission statement and 10 staff members’ roles.

KRUA broadcasts over 67 live hours weekly. Also, over 20 hours of voice tracking are aired through an automated system.

KRUA broadcasted the Homecoming Shopping Cart Parade, Halloween Fun Night and the student art gallery show, Radio Land, last semester.

Among other collaborations, KRUA has partnered with the planetarium to play the Audio Dome shows in the last year. Audio Dome presentations feature music provided by a live DJ to dome-projected visuals, often including fractal images.

Pleas said the KRUA staff members will likely be traveling within the state of Alaska over the next year for event coverage.

USUAA unanimously endorsed the media board budget.

Care Team coordinator Caitlin Poindexter also spoke to USUAA during their speakers form the floor section of the meeting. The Care Team, formed in 2009, finds students who are at risk within the UAA community and offers support for reducing those risks.

Caitlin created the Care Team website,, and has been with the Care Team since August.

If an online “care report” is submitted about a student displaying inappropriate or concerning behavior, a team of eight people will receive an update of the report almost immediately. The reports can be submitted anonymously, but the submission is not anonymous by default.

Toward the end of the meeting, an elderly man, E. Bunny, wearing a white bunny costume and carrying a colorful basket full of chocolate, hopped away from a disgruntled woman upstairs in the Student Union.

“I’ll call UPD if I have to,” the lady said loudly to the man.

“Call UPD. I don’t care,” E. Bunny replied. He then immediately left the building.

When asked how E. Bunny feels about Jesus, he said, “We’re like this.” He then crossed his fluffy fingers.

When asked what the man was doing on campus, he said he was only there to spread the good news of Easter to all the children.

Editor’s note: In an effort to be transparent with our readership and the use of student fees, TNL opted to bypass its usual policy to not report about itself. The writer who covered this event and wrote the story was not involved with the creation of the budget. The news about TNL was edited for grammar and accuracy, not content management. PDF versions of the budget can be found at