Earlier tonight, the Cavalier Daily Alumni Association board voted unanimously to provide $15,000 in emergency aid to The Cavalier Daily to help stabilize newspaper’s precarious financial situation.

“We are all very lucky to have had the benefit of The Cavalier Daily during our time on Grounds,” says Thomas Madrecki, CDAA president. “Whether you graduated three decades ago or this year, the University’s only independent newspaper has been a classroom, a place to make lifelong friends and a home away from home. It is for many a transformative experience, and for that reason, I’m tremendously proud that thanks to the support of our alumni and the CDAA board, we will be able to stabilize The Cavalier Daily‘s financial situation.”

The aid to The Cavalier Daily comes with several stipulations, including:

  • That The Cavalier Daily and Cavalier Daily Alumni Association create a financial oversight committee composed of the five members of the managing board and 8 alumni of The Cavalier Daily. The CDAA board will select these alumni from among a pool of applicants. The purpose of the committee shall be to aid The Cavalier Daily managing board and staff in developing strategies to increase revenue, improve accounting practices and instill institutional memory. The committee shall also be tasked with ensuring the money from this proposal is spent in accordance with these goals. This committee shall assess the newspaper’s financial condition on a monthly basis, circulating financial documentation and ideas to help strengthen The Cavalier Daily’s financial position. The financial oversight committee will assess all areas of the newspaper’s business model, from its print schedule and format to its recurring costs (and beyond). Proposals from the financial oversight committee (with 2⁄3 of members agreeing) shall be put to a vote by the full CDAA board and the The Cavalier Daily’s Managing Board, and take effect upon a positive popular vote with quorum. Each board member will receive one (1) vote, while the editor-in-chief and CDAA president will receive two votes (2). Voted upon financial oversight committee recommendations shall represent an expedient, direct way to change the newspaper’s structure and operations.
  • That The Cavalier Daily undertake a professional financial review by January 2015, working with the CDAA’s networking chair to secure free or low­-cost services that would properly assess the newspaper’s financial position.
  • That The Cavalier Daily provide a full and detailed accounting of its outstanding ad sales balances to the CDAA Board no later than August 31, 2014, and commit to collecting on all remaining balances by the same date.
  • That The Cavalier Daily, working in conjunction with the employed ads manager, present a dedicated financial strategy document to the joint financial oversight committee by end of September. This document should propose strategies to bolster collection, grow advertising sales and to strengthen execution to plan.
  • That the joint financial oversight committee shall take up the issue of a capital campaign with the CDAA Fundraising chair, and draft a hypothetical capital campaign strategy by September 30, 2014.
  • That the joint financial oversight committee assess the viability of alternative funding streams, including but not limited to sponsored content, media/digital consultancy, events and shared office space.
  • That The Cavalier Daily’s managing board undertake research aimed at understanding a) How The Cavalier Daily compares to peer publications in revenues, and whether recent drop­offs are an anomaly or happening elsewhere; and b) What The Cavalier Daily‘s readership wants from it. This research should be presented to the CDAA Board.

“These are trying times for college newspapers, but the grant voted on today will prevent The Cavalier Daily from defaulting on its existing obligations and help to position it for future success,” says Madrecki. “In the coming days and months, we will all keep a close eye on The Cavalier Daily. Our role as an alumni group is evolving to keep up with the need for financial oversight and advice. So, if you’re a Cavalier Daily alum, or even if you’re just an interested observer who attended the University, I encourage you to be in touch. The newspaper not only needs our monetary support, but our creative ideas and years of experience—it is the least we can do for an institution which has given us all so much.”

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