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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Students in undergraduate research program protests AZPM cuts

The+Arizona+Public+Media+sign+in+the+Modern+Languages+building+on+Aug.+7.+A+group+of+students+in+the+Undergraduate+Biology+Research+Program+has+started+a+petition+protesting+the+budget+cuts+made+to+AZPM.
Rebecca Marie Sasnett

The Arizona Public Media sign in the Modern Languages building on Aug. 7. A group of students in the Undergraduate Biology Research Program has started a petition protesting the budget cuts made to AZPM.

Students in the Undergraduate Biology Research Program has started a petition in protest of the decision to cut Arizona Public Media’s funding at the UA.

Earlier this summer, the UA decided that AZPM would lose $2 million over the next five years, or $400,000 annually.

Matthew Groysman, a senior studying molecular and cellular biology and a founder of the petition, said he believes cutting funding to programs like AZPM are detrimental to the university.

“I grew up watching AZPM,” Groysman said. “They make relatable news, and it looks bad on the university to put them in such dire financial straints.”

Groysman said that he believes the AZPM budget cuts are unfair, considering President Ann Weaver Hart just received a bonus.“Hart cuts funding to AZPM and then accepts a bonus,” Groysman said. “The amount of money she spent on renovating her new office in Old Main could have gone to AZPM.”

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Hart said that the budget cuts to AZPM were fair because the difference could be made up through member donations.

Groysman said he doesn’t understand how AZPM could make that amount of money by itself without donations. “Donations help, but they can not solve everything,” Groysman said.

Rebecca Safford, owner of the craft beer shop Tap & Bottle, said she would donate to AZPM on a personal level but would prefer to keep her business out of the petition.

Jane McCollum, a local Tucsonan, said she believes that budget cuts for AZPM are a complex situation and she would have to learn more before she supported the petition.

“I know there are a lot of cuts at the university,” McCollum said. “I support AZPM, but if you bring back funding for them, you have to cut something else.”

McCollum said she supports public media and will continue to donate to AZPM.

“I have always donated to AZPM, and with these budget cuts, I am going to donate more money to them,” McCollum said.Groysman said AZPM is a cause worth fighting for because it is fair and informative.

“AZPM is a non-partisan and non-sensational news source,” Groysman said. “I feel more informed after listening to them.”McCollum said she believes that the petition is supporting a good but too narrow cause.

“AZPM is a great organization,” McCollum said. “They do a lot of good things, but we need to be fighting for more than just NPR — we need to fight for the university.”

The Daily Wildcat reached out to AZPM for comment but was informed that officials don’t comment on money issues regarding AZPM.

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Follow Max Lancaster on Twitter.



Editor’s Note:

In the story “Research program protests AZPM cuts” by Max Lancaster on Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Undergraduate Biology Research Program was attributed to starting a petition that protests the UA’s decision to cut Arizona Public Media funding. It’s students within the program who have organized the petition, not the Undergraduate Biology Research Program itself. We apologize for the mistake and any confusion.

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