Interviewer: Dai Hewison, CKXU 88.3 FM Community Content Curator
Interviewees: Kianna Turner, The Meliorist Editor-in-Chief
Blaine Badiuk, The Meliorist Business Manager
Transcribed by Genna Bourchier
Dai Hewison (DH): Joining me now are members from The Meliorist to talk about their upcoming referendum. Welcome to the show, please introduce yourselves and your roles with The Meliorist.
Kianna Turner (KT): Hi. So I’m Kianna Turner, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of the Meliorist.
Blaine Badiuk (BB): And I’m Blaine, she/her pronouns, and I’m the Business Manager at The Meliorist.
DH: What’s the history with The Meliorist here on campus and what’s going on with the referendum?
KT: Since 1967, The Meliorist has been a vital part of the University of Lethbridge community. We provide opportunities to highlight local issues and student voices. As the University of Lethbridge doesn’t offer a journalism program, for many students The Meliorist is the only opportunity to gain that experience.
BB: Yeah, we’ve been around since the university started, and so we provide paid student employment, paid student freelancing, volunteer opportunities, and now applied study opportunities too. So we’re really an all-service organization now, which is really exciting and we just want to keep that going and push us forward.
DH: With the referendum, what is that about and what are you hoping that The Meliorist gets out of it?
KT: With the referendum, we’re hoping to be able to, one, support our current operations, but also to expand our operations and the services that we can provide students. A big part of it too is we’re just asking for 50 cents, and what can you really buy today with 50 cents? Practically nothing. So it’s not a lot per person, but it does a lot for the community as a whole and for what we can do for students going forward.
BB: Exactly, with 50 cents more from every student we can provide more top-notch investigative journalism, more raw emotional poetry, beautiful photography, and thought-provoking opinions along with paid student employment, paid freelance, and applied study opportunities and so much more. Collectively that’s the power that we have, and that’s what we’re asking for this time.
DH: Outside of the 50 cent increase benefiting your organization, what are some of the benefits that will go towards the students?
KT: Yeah, so as we discussed, we’ll be able to have more employment opportunities, so we’ll be able to have a bigger staff. We’re hoping that if we can also get a fee in the summer too, that we would be able to have year round operations rather than just the fall and spring term. So then that’s a longer ability to actually keep our students employed and also expanding the amount that we can employ, expanding the amount of freelancing we can have, increasing the amount of printing we can do, having workshops so students can learn more about journalism, journalistic ethics, all the different things that are involved in this whole process. Maybe writing workshops too, to help students out. So yeah, it’s about being able to do a lot more with students and also getting their feedback to see what and how we can help them as well.
BB: Exactly. Right. And currently over 65% of our fees go right back to students and we’re going to keep that with this increase and expand it even more. No other organization on campus can say that and that’s the power. It’s student funds going right back to students.
DH: If people have any further questions or want more information about the referendum, or about The Meliorist itself, what are the best ways they can reach out?
BB: And we have LinkedIn.
KT: Oh, LinkedIn. Wonderful.
BB: Connect with us.
KT: But then you can also email the Business Manager or the Editor-in-Chief directly as well. Our emails are pretty much everywhere on our social medias, especially on our website.
BB: Biggest thing is follow us on Instagram at @melioristmagazine, all one word. In the week after reading week go to the townhalls being hosted by the Student Union. We’ll have a representative there to provide some context and answer questions you may have. And just pop on down to the first floor of the SU building and see if we’re in the office. We’d be happy to answer any questions at any time.
DH: Outside of the referendum, how else can students help out and support The Meliorist?
BB: Well, first and foremost, read our content and share it. Share it on socials. It’s the best way to raise awareness and allow our writers to have more reach for their work.
KT: It helps us get a broader exposure. It allows students to also be able to absorb more of the content from the university community. And then students can also message me, at eic [at] themeliorist.ca if they want to submit any content for freelancing, and if they have any questions about the whole process, they can email me as well or they can pop into the office one day while I’m working.
DH: Thank you again for joining us on the show and sharing all this information with us.
KT & BB: Yeah, thank you very much for having us.