SPA’s Chair said it “stands with the Save TCS campaign” Student Publication Association

The Student Publication Association (SPA) has issued a statement condemning the decision, ratified by CUSU Council last night, to cut The Cambridge Student’s budget and turn it into an online-only publication.

Dan Seamarks, Chair of SPA, which is affiliated to over 130 student publications, said: “We are tonight condemning CUSU for the actions they have taken over The Cambridge Student.

“Student media is vital for democracy and holding Unions to account, a job TCS does only too well.

“In making this decision the Students’ Union is not only ending the heritage associated to print but also closing something which further educates students.”

He said that SPA had been in a dialogue with members of the campaign to preserve TCS’s print edition. There was a suggestion that TCS’s board would consider the possibility of the paper continuing as an independent venture.

“We are in contact with the those who hoped to save TCS in print and will continue to work with them to establish a way forward,” said Seamarks. “Let me be clear. This decision is appalling. The Student Publication Association tonight stands with the Save TCS campaign. We are sorry that their handwork, dedication and passion for student media has been ignored.”

The statement repeats the suggestion, made previously by TCS, that the paper has been “seemingly making a profit” – a claim that has been repeatedly refuted by CUSU. In an internal email, leaked to Varsity, CUSU General Manager Mark McCormack said that TCS had been losing money for several years.

Elsa Maishman, Chair of the Board of Directors of TCS, said: “CUSU’s decision to slash TCS’s budget is devastating. This has been a harrowing process for all of us. We’ll be considering all other options once our exams are finished and working with the SPA to try to ensure that CUSU’s cruel and overhasty decision doesn’t spell the end of TCS.”

SPA also said that “If TCS decide, as they have speculated, to become independent, the SPA is dedicated its support and will offer any guidance we can.”

An emergency motion by members of TCS to amend the budget and preserve the paper’s print edition was narrowly defeated in a secret ballot as CUSU Council, after two open votes resulted in a tie. Council then ratified CUSU’s budget, locking in the cuts, which will take effect in Michaelmas.

Varsity has contacted CUSU for comment.

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