After a turbulent two months, which included a new editor-in-chief appointed in April and removed just as quickly, a little fine print is all that separates the Rebel Yell from resuming business as usual.
The advisory board of the Rebel Yell, UNLV’s student newspaper, agreed in principle to a proposal by Mark Ciavola, the university’s new student body president. The plan would give the advisory board the power to appoint an editor-in-chief. The student government no longer would be the conduit for the newspaper’s funding, which would still come from student fees but be funneled through a special fee committee.
"I think there’s a spirit of cooperation going on now to resolve things, both the technical thing and the philosophical issue," advisory board member and UNLV journalism professor Mary Hausch said. "I’m really hopeful it will be resolved and the paper will be back as good as ever in the fall."
The advisory board appointed editors for the past 16 years, but it was discovered that its appointments since 2009 have been invalid because of conflicting language in the operating policies of the Nevada Board of Regents and UNLV student government.
Unbeknownst to the advisory board, the Board of Regents inadvertently gave power to select the editor to UNLV’s student government.
The advisory board and Consolidated Students of UNLV Senate will move as quickly as is procedurally possible to pass the agreed-upon solution.
The senate will discuss amending its constitution at its June 25 meeting and probably vote at its July 2 meeting.
The advisory board is expected to vote on the measure at its July 9 meeting. A two-thirds vote is required from the senate and advisory board for the proposal to pass.
Barring any complications, the matter should be settled at the campus level. The advisory board and student government are expected to ask UNLV President Neal Smatresk to approach the regents about revising its handbook to allow UNLV to solve its own problem.
The regents have a special meeting scheduled in August at UNLV and regular meetings scheduled in September in Reno and December at UNLV.
And though changes to the operating policies of the student government and advisory board will take effect immediately, students at UNLV also will have to approve the changes to the constitution with a vote in the October general election.
Ciavola said he believes a united front of the student government and advisory board will ensure the proposal passes.
Blaire Ritter, a graduate student and Rebel Yell interim managing editor, was optimistic after Monday’s meeting.
"There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding this," Ritter said. "We were kind of panicking about our jobs and our livelihood. It’s our passion, too. … I’m glad that all parties are going to get, seemingly, what we all hoped for."
Contact View reporter Jeff Mosier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5524.