Editorial: Keep The Link alive

Graphic Panos Michalakopoulos

“A blending of old and new” were the first-ever words printed in The Link on Aug. 22, 1980.

Our paper’s debut editorial declared the merger of The Loyola News and The Georgian, two campus newspapers with incredibly rich histories spanning decades. Such a feat had never been seen in Canadian student journalism.

Forty-four volumes of campus reporting later, our little publication has left a permanent imprint on the face of news in Canada and abroad. Hundreds of student reporters who called The Link home, now work in virtually every major news outlet in the country. Countless awards and accolades aside, we have consistently demonstrated the power of the student press.

This is because our mandate of advocacy and accountability in the face of hostile institutions remains as strong now as it was many years ago.

In recent years alone, our coverage of labour disputes, the university’s financial matters, sexual assault on campus, student protests, international students’ rights and other matters of extreme importance have resulted in direct policy changes from Concordia.

Despite our successes, we still face many issues internally. Some things have unfortunately stayed the same at The Link. Challenges like the disappearance of advertising revenue, Meta and Google's social media news blockade, and the ongoing inflation crisis have been a thorn in our side. But we face one major roadblock above all: funding.

The Link’s last fee levy increase took place in 2001. Students agreed to pay $0.19 per credit in exchange for the vital information we provide the Concordia community. Ever since, our budget has stayed stagnant, only made worse by inflation and the loss of ad money.

Editors and contributors at The Link are volunteers who are paid an honorarium for our work. Before emergency reforms were taken in the summer of 2023 to address our labour concerns, editors were paid an average weekly honorarium of $110 per week. This amounted to between three and four dollars per hour for the average editor.

With our Board of Directors’ permission, we were able to give editors honorariums that reflect the Quebec minimum wage for the duration of Vol. 44. We also created a fund to directly pay every single contributor for their content. This pilot project, however, is temporary. To ensure our workers are paid the literal bare minimum, we need your help.

From Nov. 7 to 9, the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) by-elections will be taking place virtually and on campus. The Link is on that ballot. We are asking for $0.40 per credit, adjusted yearly for inflation. All undergraduate students can vote via a link that will be sent by the CSU in their emails.

Without your vote, we will be left with no long-term sustainable alternative to pay our workers fairly. This would be an existential threat to the paper.

We need your help, Concordia community, now more than ever. If you want to support student journalism, hold the Concordia administration accountable, and help our editors pay rent and buy groceries, please vote for us.

Four decades since we launched, our commitment to serving this community has never wavered. We will continue to do so in even greater ways with this budget increase. A vote for The Link is a vote for a better future in student life. Help keep us alive.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 5, published October 31, 2023.