Committee hopes to create scholarships for editor

Some students find attending class and doing well a daunting challenge.

For the editors of The Hatchet, the loss of a University stipend could lead to The Hatchet editor in chief having to go to school, hold down outside jobs and try to keep things flowing at the newspaper.

To combat this possible scenario, The Hatchet board of directors established a fund-raising committee to prepare for the loss of the University stipend in the year 2000. The stipend, which has been given to the editor in chief since the ’80s, currently is valued at $11,000, which covers less than three-fourths of the GW tuition price. When the stipend first began, it paid for the entire price of tuition.

“The stipend became a necessity in the ’80s due to the extremely fast rising cost of college,” General Manager Steven Morse said. “The editor’s compensation is in lieu of a job that the editors would have to take elsewhere if there was no stipend. It allows them to devote that much more time to The Hatchet.”

The stipend will run out seven years after the incorporation of Hatchet Publications Inc., according to The Hatchet’s signed independence contract. In anticipation of the stipend loss, the fund-raising committee was formed.

Currently, Morse and GW journalism professor Charles Puffenbarger (better known as “Puff”) are the only two members of the fund-raising committee.

“The committee is made of volunteers from The Hatchet board of directors and Hatchet alumni. Right now, the committee is small because of the move, but we will be spending a lot of time on it in the next couple of months,” Morse said.

The committee is raising money to finance the operation of The Hatchet and the “first thing (on our agenda) is scholarship money for students who would have gotten it under the former circumstances,” Puff said.

“A significant number of editors in recent years received financial aid and couldn’t have continued on the paper if they had to get another job,” Morse said. “It’s unreasonable for a top editor to have a job at The Hatchet, another job and go to classes.”

Current Editor in Chief Elissa Leibowitz agreed with Morse.

“The stipend is important because its hard to have an internship or another job because The Hatchet takes up so much of your time. I spend at least 50 hours a week here working on the paper,” Leibowitz said.

“It eases my mind knowing that I can still work here and not have to worry about paying my tuition because I have the stipend. That’s why it is so important that we continue to have money for the editors.”

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