The Lambda, Laurentian's student newspaper may become online only

The final numbers haven’t been released but most groups at Laurentian University in Sudbury say they have a good idea about their respective results from the opt out process for student fees.

Ford government now allows student to choose which groups they want to support on campus

(Erik White/CBC)

The final numbers haven't been released but most groups at Laurentian University in Sudbury say they have a good idea about the results from the opt out process for student fees.

In January, the Ford Progressive Conservative government announced college and university students can opt out of fees that fund campus groups, student newspapers and clubs. This is the first fall students have voted to opt out of those fees.

Officials at Laurentian University have released the results of the vote to the Student General Association at Laurentian University. 

Eric Chappell, the president of that group, says the final numbers are still being crunched for all the affected groups, but says the overall trend of opting out is high.

Chappell says he's most concerned about the future of the media on campus. He says 95 per cent of students voted not to support the student newspaper, The Lambda.

"We have a government that's really focused on freedom of speech," he said.

"But we don't have an organization that can facilitate that or we do, but they're just gutted from a financial perspective."

Move to online publication

A founding board member for The Lambda, Ashley Thomson, says it's going to be challenging for the newspaper to move forward.

He says it's an "appalling decision" by the province to allow students to opt out.

"It's going to be terrible. It's going to be hard to inform students about what's going on," he said.

"If there's an issue, like for example, there was a suit about sexual harassment in one of the sports teams: that was brought out through The Lambda."

Thomson says The Lambda pays its journalists, which will be hard to continue to do with less money.

As for the future of the paper, he says he's hoping a partnership can be worked out with Huntington University's communications program which he says would allow a work-study option.

"One of the things the provincial government is putting its priorities on is work integrated learning," he said.

"It seems to me that is the opportunity we need to explore."

With files from Angela Gemmill


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