The ASUS publication the Tartan was the subject of a tense debate at the society’s first winter assembly on Thursday night, with some members arguing the online publication has done little since current editors-in-chief Brendan Goodman and Scott Ramsay took office on May 1.
Faculty of Arts and Science student senator Peter Smolej began the inquiry on the Tartan’s progress, saying the editors’ goals, which included increasing content for the publication, haven’t yet been met.
The Tartan, which is a student-run publication managed by the society, hasn’t published any articles this year.
In response to questions of why the Tartan has failed to publish articles, Goodman, ArtSci ’16, said it wasn’t a matter of lacking material, but that they didn’t have media insurance from the AMS.
Goodman added that although they received positive feedback in the first week of the fall semester, potential writers for the publication were put off when they were told their articles wouldn’t be published due to insurance issues.
The idea of possibly abandoning the publication was brought forward at a Feb. 2014 Assembly, but ASUS President Adam Grotsky said that as of now, ASUS has no plans to shut down the publication.
When asked if he envisioned the Tartan as a potential competitor for the Journal or whether its goal was to find its own niche in the market, Goodman said that the publications are similar in that they’re both student-sourced news publications.
He added that they differ in that the Tartan will only publish online and will focus more on students writing about their own interests.
The Tartan isn’t ASUS’s first newspaper. ASUS published weekly paper The Lictor from the early 1970s to 1989, and funded Surface from 1989-93, and again from 1994-2003.
Goodman said they were looking to release five or six “high quality” articles early next week.
Goodman said the Tartan’s goal now is to regain the momentum it had early in the fall, adding that the shortcomings it faced were due to extenuating circumstances like the lack of media insurance.
“I don’t think it’s been given the best opportunity to succeed as it could have,” he said.
“I think that perhaps getting the Tartan up and running and seeing actually what it looks like going full-speed ahead is the best time to be making a value judgment on the state of the publication and whether or not it should continue.”
This article has been changed to reflect the following correction:
Peter Smolej is a student senator for the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Incorrect information appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of the Journal. The Journal regrets the error.
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