The Tartan to live on

Despite criticism over its infrequent publishing, ASUS Assembly voted in favour of keeping the online publication operating into next year

ASUS Assembly voted in favour to keep the Tartan in publication last night.
ASUS Assembly voted in favour to keep the Tartan in publication last night.

The Tartan’s existence was debated Thursday night at the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Assembly, with Assembly voting in favour of keeping the Tartan running for another year.

ASUS President Scott Mason brought forward a motion to cut the Tartan as an ultimatum before the hiring period concludes.

The motion had not been included in the provided Assembly package.

The Tartan was created in 2012 by ASUS as a faculty-run publication to rival other campus media services, such as the Journal.

The Tartan has a website but hasn’t released an article since early fall, which is when its Twitter page was also last updated.

Adam Grotsky, ASUS academics commissioner and incoming president, was one of the representatives who supported the Tartan continuing as a publication.

“To look forward to the Tartan, we have to look back as to why this was first created: to offer a fresh perspective of news.

“We can’t judge what’s happened to it in its first few steps,” Grotsky, ArtSci ’15, said.

“Students still want that fresh perspective.

“It’s a thing on campus. Perhaps it might be funny at the start, but if we start hammering out some great articles it will turn into a solid publication.”

Former editor in chief John Whittaker acknowledged that, for many of the students who have heard of the Tartan, the publication is widely derided as a “joke.” Whittaker recently resigned from his position at the publication.

“I don’t think it was a success this year.

“It’s at the point now where I think we would be no different if we were completely new.

“The issue is the brand is a joke,” Whittaker, ArtSci '14, said.

“To start a completely new news source might be better.”

Isabelle Duchaine, student senate caucus chair, disagreed with Whittaker's assessment of the Tartan’s situation.

“If the hiring process for the Tartan was competitive last year, we can open it again with another team,” Duchaine, ArtSci ’14, said.

“If we already have the money invested in it, it doesn’t make sense to [cut] it.

“It’s a solid name. A brand could exist there.”

Rector Nick Francis agreed with Duchaine that the brand could be improved without dropping the publication entirely.

“There is a precedent for it to happen.

“Homecoming was seen as a crazy party … [the administration] wanted to call it ‘fall reunion’ … [but] in the last couple of months the administration said they would continue with Homecoming and try to rebrand Homecoming.

“That’s an example of something that was extremely negative, and it was brought back,” Francis said.

“I don’t believe that the group of us who have a negative perception are going to influence the thousands of students who don’t know about the Tartan or who are not even here yet.”



February 28, 2014

This article has been updated to reflect the following corrections: The former editor in chief of the Tartan is John Whittaker, not Nikolas Lopez. All comments made by Lopez were actually said by Whittaker. Incorrect information appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of the Journal.

The Journal regrets the error.

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