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Nowadays, $4.14 will not buy you much. Maybe you’ll obtain a somewhat decent burrito, a bus ride to San Jose or a beer at any bar off Pacific Avenue.

But what if those dollars could purchase something that lasts far longer and leaves you — and arguably 15,000 other UC Santa Cruz students — more entertained, intrigued, challenged and informed?

Measure 34, which will be on the ballot for the May 14–21 Campus Elections, aims to do just that: sustain the dynamic voice of UC Santa Cruz Student Media, an umbrella organization of approximately 1,000 students involved with 40 news, arts and entertainment, and academic outlets on campus.

A YES vote will not just preserve the services that lie within the confines of the hard-to-uncover Press Center, or redwood-encircled KZSC building. Rather, it “extends to anyone on this campus,” according to fourth-year Nick Winnie, the Measure 34 campaign manager.

Student Media is, after all, the curious watchdog for closed-door corruption in the UC system, a celebration of our sports teams (and sometimes a reaffirmation that they do indeed exist), a menagerie of literary prose, and much, much more. It is KZSC, SCTV, City on a Hill Press, Fish Rap Live!, Leviathan, La Revista/Las Girlfriends, Rainbow TV, Kinetic Poetic Project and a plethora of eclectic — and sometimes eccentric — voices that strive to represent an equally diverse campus and its surrounding community.

In the language of Measure 34 itself, the money garnered will allot the funds for “the opportunity for a more hands-on experience with media at UCSC — whether it be artistic, political, organizational, athletic, academic, cultural, or co-curricular.”

To do so, it will preserve the backbone of Student Media: its advisers. These far-stretched, hard-working demigods oversee equipment, provide legal and First Amendment advice and keep media services and operations running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. While Student Media has seen a 300 percent increase of student involvement — not to mention a 400 percent increase in its student media organizations — in the past 10 years, its number of advisers has steadily dwindled by 35 percent.

With the loss, or reduced role, of the current advisers, Student Media services will be cut in half, according to its assistant director and UCSC alumnus Jeremy Karafin. SCTV, without a staff member to oversee its use of equipment, could very well cease to exist.

But let’s look at a best-case scenario: The small fee behind Measure 34, which will raise a total of $184,983, will be assessed to students beginning fall 2008, and continue to support student media in the midst of rapidly growing budget constraints. Thirty-three percent of the money from the measure will go to return-to-aid, assisting students who can least afford to lend their monetary support. The funds will furthermore be monitored closely by the Student Media Council, which will work to fairly allocate them in accordance with university policy and the law.

When the similar Measure 13 passed in the spring of 2005 under the slogan of “Make Student Voice Your Choice,” it allowed Student Media to upgrade its facilities and technology.

In promotion of Measure 34, City on a Hill Press is hosting a free concert this Saturday, May 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Colleges Nine/Ten Multipurpose Room. Two bands, Too Drunk to Funk and The Hallway Ballers, will be there to raise the volume and rock the vote.

We encourage you to cast your YES vote, and continue to further the spread of issues, ideas and creativity that will hopefully continue to flourish within Student Media.

_Beginning May 14, you can vote online for Measure 34 at www.elections.ucsc.edu._