EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Poly finally getting on its feet

Business operations worked out, and we're set to go

I’m back again! For those that don’t know, I was Acting Editor in Chief last fall semester and helped direct the organization into a more active position in the community. As of two weeks ago, I was officially elected to the position of Editor in Chief of The Polytechnic and I’m still running a tight ship with new additions to our motley crew.

Starting with our printing contract, The Poly has had a rough start sailing into the wind this semester by only finalizing our contract in time to print last Wednesday, September 23. For those that do not know, The Poly is completely advertisement driven, receiving no money from the Rensselaer Union, save for utilities for the offices that we occupy on the third floor of the Union. It costs about $1,200 to break even, print, and distribute copies every single week. This means that running the newspaper every year costs about $36,000–40,000, which is not a small sum. In fact, in the past, annual costs for 6,000 copies per week used to reach around $70,000–80,000, the average starting salary of an RPI alum. However, since print media is in decline due to the advent of the Internet, we’ve had to tighten the belt and only print 3,000 copies a week. Anyone who is interested in working with us to generate advertising revenue can feel free to shoot an email to ad@poly.rpi.edu or poly@rpi.edu. We’re working on a system to grant six percent or some amount of commission to those that acquire ads for us, under certain conditions; this system is under works and should be finalized by the end of the semester.

The freshman Poly Press Pass event at the beginning of this semester and the Activities fair have been extremely helpful in recruiting those that are interested in improving their writing, leadership, and management skills. We already have dedicated freshmen that are part of the editorial board and others that have been attending all Poly meetings and also looking to board the Poly ship. Every student club or group requires transfer of knowledge from its senior members to its incoming members, but it’s even more important for a newspaper group. Some examples are layout experience in Adobe InDesign, proofreading style and accuracy, communication with the Union Administrative Office, negotiating our annual printing contract, article leads, reporter contact information, photo leveling experience in Adobe Photoshop, distillation and uploading of the newspaper to the printer, server and website maintenance, and finally, layout style. I have knowledge of almost all of these integral parts of The Poly, and bestowing this clearly voluminous amount of information to incoming members is crucial to the future prosperity of The Poly.

If you’re interested in writing, we hold content meetings every Wednesday at 9 pm in the Poly office, Rensselaer Union 3418. If you’re interested in laying out or just hanging out with the crew, feel free to stop by on Tuesday nights any time after 4 pm every week; we’ll be here all night. One way or another, we are ensuring the Poly ship will sail smoothly once again.