Saturday, February 23

Submission: Supporting Daily Bruin not just a sentimental issue, it’s a moral one

The Daily Bruin is not just a newspaper.

Sure, when it’s lying on the ground next to a trash can on Bruin Walk, I’m sure the Daily Bruin might seem like it’s just a newspaper.

But having spent years toiling away as a member of the Daily Bruin staff, I urge you to take my word for it – the Daily Bruin is so much more than just a newspaper.

The Daily Bruin is a public service, a nearly century-old institution whose efforts in training young journalists, holding USAC officers and administrators accountable, and protecting students and student interests cannot be matched by any other organization on this campus.

During my time with The Bruin, I spent three years as a staff opinion columnist and one as an editor of our arts and culture magazine, prime. Although the work was often challenging – repeatedly pushing me out of my comfort zone – I felt happy, safe and loved in that dusty, windowless office on the first floor of Kerckhoff Hall. It seemed that what I did and what I said really mattered to people who trusted my ideas and supported my convictions. I laughed, listened to bad music, ate a lot of Panda Express, made great friends, and grew as a person, a student and a writer.

And I could sit here, and apply all of my years of Daily Bruin training toward writing a strong emotional appeal about what The Bruin means to me and so many other students – how it was our home and our safe space, and how you should support it to help other burgeoning young writers like me because student organizations matter and … yada, yada, yada.

But I won’t. Because the truth is, feelings aren’t the concern here.

Supporting the Daily Bruin and Referendum is not a sentimental issue, it’s a moral one.

The Bruin can only continue to exist in its current capacity – as a paper that has enough staff and enough time and ability to investigate, report and create – if it has enough money to do so. Economics, unfortunately, has nothing to do with feelings.

As students, we are perhaps best-known for our commitment to radical ideas, activism and change. We are known for our great strides and strong stances on what is right and what is wrong – values, ethics and morals.

Voting for the Daily Bruin and Referendum is a radical idea, a commitment to the values that make up a newspaper. It’s a commitment to free speech, transparency, honesty, accountability and the truth. Voting for the Daily Bruin and Referendum is a moral obligation – to stand up for what is right, even when it isn’t necessarily easy.

It is right to stand up on behalf of an organization that does so much for students, that fights for your causes, your rights and your education.

The Bruin is the reason you know about USAC corruption and professor sanctions. The Bruin is the reason you know first about every major campus crisis and upheaval, from the 2014 flood to administrator resignations.

There is no organization on campus that is more committed to creating a better, safer, happier, more honest UCLA than The Bruin.

The staff of The Bruin give their lives and their time to this organization, not just because they like to write, but because they genuinely believe they have a commitment and an obligation to make the little slice of the world that we control as students – our campus – a better place.

The Bruin is filled with students who work 60 hours a week for pennies on the dollar to protect you, to help you, to support you.

Trust me, if we wanted to get rich, we wouldn’t be doing this. The Daily Bruin staff does it because we care.

Please care in return.

Tashman was an Opinion columnist from 2011-2015 and the director of prime magazine from 2014-2015.

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