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Election Error Means End Of UC Davis Newspaper’s Print Edition

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DAVIS (CBS13) — Just weeks ago, UC Davis students voted to tax themselves and save their struggling student-run newspaper.

But now The Aggie is shutting down print production as staffers are being told that vote didn’t count.

Thursday’s paper is the last printed version of the 99-year-old California Aggie for the foreseeable future.

Editor in Chief Elizabeth Orpina says after struggling with ad revenue and printing costs, the paper asked students to vote on a measure last month. It asked for a $3.10 quarterly fee to support The Aggie, which currently receives no school funding.

“We do not want to go into too much debt right now,” Oprina said. “It would be even worse to continue printing.”

The fee passed, and was awaiting approval from the UC administration when someone essentially filed a lawsuit with the student judicial system

Student government Vice President Bradley Bottoms says the student election committee made a mistake by giving students the option of abstaining, which affected how many votes actually counted.

“The court said that the abstentions did not count toward the overall needed measure, which was 20 percent, so there was not 20 percent voting in the election,” he said.

So the vote doesn’t count.

But Orpina thinks school administrators could straighten things out.

“No one from upper administration has reached out to anyone, I believe,” she said.

Keith Sterling says the issue is maintaining integrity of the process.

“It’s really a student-managed process, and we try to keep it that way to protect the integrity of the student government,” he said.

Without the expected funding, Orpina’s staff has dwindled to a handful of volunteers, who will continue to write online articles.

“At this point, we don’t have a plan,” she said.

The Aggie can hold a revote in the spring quarter, but Orpina worries about getting a high enough voter turnout.

So the future of the newspaper is still uncertain.

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