The Bottom Line Minutes Associated Students

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The Bottom Line Minutes

Associated Students

09.29.2015, 8 PM Minutes/Actions recorded by: Mathew Burciaga
CALL TO ORDER 8:03, Chair

  1. Roll Call



absent (excused/not excused)

arrived late (time)

departed early (time)

proxy (full name)



absent (excused/not excused)

arrived late (time)

departed early (time)

proxy (full name)

Mathew Burciaga


Bailee Abell


Sarah Beaver


Kyle Roe


Gilberto Flores


Tara Ahi


David Wills


Judy Lau


Shomik Mukherjee


Benjamin Hurst


Tiffany Wu


Lyndsi Ibarra


Morey Spellman


Maria Nguyen


Cindy Chang


Thea Cabrera Montejo


Leah Armer


Hector Sanchez Castaneda


Gwendolyn Wu


Kelsey Knorp

Absent (excused)

Madison Donahue-Wolfe

Absent (excused)

A-2. Excused absences

Motion to excuse twu from Tonight’s meeting


ACTION: Vote: 18 to 0 YES

  1. Executive Officer’s Reports

Mathew –

Holy hell it’s week 4

Good Luck on midterms everyone

There are snacks in the fridge, I don’t want anyone to skip meals while studying so pls take them if you’re studying

Bailee –

Great job on this past issue. Quite a few stories that took a lot of time. In process of dealing with a couple of problem writers

We had a couple of ads this week. Unfortunately not a page of features, one page of A&E. Paper was in on time this week.

  1. Advertising Report

Lyndsi –
Two full page ads (bring in the bank.) Miscommunication, let me know what I can do to make everyone’s job easier. Might be ads for next week.

  1. Promotions Director Report

Tiffany – Absent

  1. A.S. Beat Report

Gwen – Nothing is happening. One bill on the table (a bill to make AS more transparent)

They’re trying to build an electronic database.

Senate is projected to end by 9.

Reaching out to EVPLA, PSC to discuss Halloween. Timely.

  1. IV Beat Report

Hector – Rough past week.

Announced that the Office of Das Williams will have informational meetings every Tuesday at 6pm. Class at 5, ends at 6:15.

Is only human, has to eat.

Meetings should be pitched to staff writers, learn about IV politics and how things go.

Preview of Halloween in the works.

  1. Advisor’s Report

Marta –

Great job on the coverage of the event last Sunday. Thorough, well researched. What we should be about. Insightful deep reporting


  1. Approval of our Minutes from 10.13


ACTION: Vote: Consent to Approve


These are generally financial approvals. Detailed information and staff recommendations/reports are provided in attachments. Approvals of allocations of funds require Senate approval. Travel requests and exceptions to policy require Finance Board approval.
D-1 New Business

  1. Reimbursement: Tiffany Wu – $10

Motion to reimburse Tiffany Wu $10 for posters


ACTION: Vote: Consent to APPROVE


Items on which we may make a decision in the future. Public testimony is welcome. We will not make decision motions but may instruct members/staff to do research and/or place item on future agenda.
E-1. We’re Buying more swag (Tiffany)

Shomik – Will the new sticker have the website.

Math – It should.

Bailee – in agreement.

Hector – Big fan of the simplistic design of the stickers, should have a mockup before we commit.

Bailee – Design with just our logo. Pugs are cute, but we have to think more professional now.

Shomik – I want people to know that we’re actually a newspaper. They shouldn’t just see the pugs.

Maria – Asked a guy that had the sticker, didn’t know what it was.

E-2. Mid-quarter review.

Tara – I think the late night debate did the right thing

Shomik – The article was terrific, beautifully organized. All the info they needed. There should have been something worked into the print edition last week. We had it within the cycle and it could have easily gone there. Financial feasibility seemed odd that given the events of last week. If we want to be a timely new source, we need to react like one. I think we need to decide what we want to be. If we want to be an investigate source, then let’s be one. If we want to be a breaking source, then let’s be one. We dropped the ball on breaking the news.

Gilberto – Agrees that we should have had a brief in the Wednesday print edition. There was space, it could have gotten in there. Two options (breaking or analytical/investigative) clear what we’re better at. Feels we should pursue more analytical pieces that serve to inform. Play to our strengths.

David – We are still primarily weekly, makes more sense to have more analytical things.

Bailee – Agrees that it would have been great in the Wednesday edition. Personally, wanted to wait until we had all the facts and stories with both sides. Believes had we published sooner, they would have only read that one side. Gilberto, Hector, Gwen and I all worked on it. Set the deadline for Friday and met it. Wish she could have delegated and had another reporter. Given the manpower we had, believed we did the best we could have.

Maria – Would have preferred better content at a later time. It’s very important to have the facts straight.

Shomik – I think the other paper committed bad journalism off the bat. We had the facts to issue something that was correct, but I think a rebranding is in order. We need to commit to something. We are a wolf in sheep’s clothing – we’re only going to be there some of the time. A better way to look at it is to view ourselves as the only news source on campus. Hypothetical – first time we mention it in print. 10 days after the incident. Beat Report was put online five days after the incident. Irresponsible to wait that long. Tremendous job at what we’re doing.

Gwen – Shomik, for clarification, do you think we shouldn’t put out breaking tweets.

Shomik – News team shouldn’t be working all the time, but shouldn’t be a newsmagizne. We need to pick one and specialize in it.

Tara – Because we had the facts that someone did die, and we did have the facts of the time and place.

Gilberto – Operating from the assumption that we’re the only news source is unrealistic. Reality of interconnected world (twitter, reddit, facebook, email alerts, etc.) makes it seem unrealistic to do so. Readers will learn about them no matter what. So much of the content is noise – what we did with our piece was brought rationality to a serious and troubling incident.

Hector – Shomik’s hypothetical was useful. Social media has a large chunk of our lives. I think we can be both – tweet hard facts, then take the time to write investigative articles that we know.

Shomik – Tweet’s aren’t necessarily enough. We could have more followers. Social media could potentially skew what actually went down. News puts out a standardized report that is based in the facts. We should report what we know.

Bailee – We did not know a lot. What we did know was not enough. Did not have info from the police. Regrets not posting things sooner or running a brief, personally stands by that we did not have enough facts. Could have come out sooner if we had more people on the story. Don’t forget our numbers – it is a limiting constraint. As the years go by, I hope we grow and get more people in each section.

David – Having a quick report wouldn’t have been a good idea. We didn’t have it confirmed that the student died. If for some reason he didn’t die, that would have made us look bad.

Morey – Agree with David, given the circumstances we did the best we could. Shomik, is there a larger argument you are trying to make?

Shomik – We need to decide in either direction.

Tara – Establish a protocol for handling these things.

Shomik – I don’t necessarily have a side. Assuming we had something to report. I think if we’re sending tweets from senate, or reporting on things in a quick turnaround, then we should do it for all things.

Hector – Call came in at 1:30 PM. Math interviewed at residence around 2PM. After that, meeting was called to brief Hector, Gilberto and Bailee. Hector had a class after that. Heard recording at night. By that time, the police station was closed. Emailed for response in the morning. SBCFD, unsure to contact. Tuesday morning, email received around 10AM from Lietenant Plastino – Available for 11 AM call. Tried to discuss a new call, gave a timeline and waited. Called between classes in order to hear and record. Tuesday around 3PM. Gave a quick overview. Directed to Hoover for more information. Hard to get in contact with. Left a message on Monday actually, did not respond. Left another message on Tuesday, did not respond. Paper is out on Wednesday. Still unsure how he died. Main reason we couldn’t do anything. Nexus published statement on Wednesday with a statement giving a time and tentative reason. Thursday published information given at Senate meeting. Published info after email from Katya Armistead, Chancellor Yang. More information was gathered on Friday from Plastino, Hoover was contacted on Sunday. Tried our best to get information that was not readily available, and did the best we could that we had.

Ben – Layout goes out at 7PM. Basically nothing concrete at 3PM. Seems a bit improbable.

Morey – National media swarming, we’re familiar with that. This is why we need to fact check things when doing them quickly.

Bailee – I think that at the end of the day, we really need to establish protocol about how to handle these things. Kept coming back to the thoughts of last May’s tragedy. Not saying any decisions were right. We need to define what TBL is. This isn’t something that rarely happens – we need to decide how we are going to report on these things in the future. That way there will be framework.

Shomik – We didn’t report, former EME was errantly attributed as an op-ed. Sensitivity was the given reasoning. Last week, we weren’t even going to tweet his name for the same reason. Not criticizing any one particular person – you all do a great job with the resources we have. If we want to do things, we need to allocate more resources towards news. Culture of news is problematic – only pitching 3 or 4 news stories per week. Focus doesn’t seem to be there. If we had more people on that, it would be easier to approach it.

Morey – Given the positive response, I think we did a pretty good job.

Shomik – Yeah, piece was great. Saying we need to decide what we want to be. Need to establish a protocol and work towards that.

Bailee – Editorial was published after the fact.

Gwen – Regarding allocating more resources to the news team, would definitely take more pressure of news. Even if we wanted to take news more seriously, we currently lack the people.

Shomik – If you consider the DN, they have a team of news editors (5) when they got on. They published the first article and got flack. Immediately rectified their mistake. More about a culture of news, breeding a distinct culture of it. Timeliness factor. More people should be trained to respond to these directions more quickly. Believes that the majority of people who come out here, they’re coming here to write things other than news. We should try and recruit news reporters.

Gilberto – Our article speaks volumes.

Marta – concern she heard was the silence.

Maria – thinks Ed Board should be trained on how to do events on this. Should not limit it to one person. Doesn’t feel an assistant editor would contribute to this.

David – Feels one other person should help. We were also not informed, didn’t know about it until the

Bailee – We all know that Bailee is sensitive and she try’s to be sensitive. Also kept people in the dark because she wants to be sensitive.

Shomik – Putting all of IV on Hector’s plate is problematic. As Marta was saying, it goes back to the question of silence. We should all be pulling our weight. Focusing on news needs to start from within. Transcribing from the candlelight vigil was his first time, can be activated if need be to gather resources. Boils down to a question of efficiency. It’s not about the other publication working harder.

Bailee – We also had more than three people there. Regarding silence, we did not publish any statement on Wednesday: we had tweets on Wednesday, a bit report on Thursday, and a full report on Saturday.

Gilberto – We need to be cautious and careful moving forward. Trying to be more like the other publication would be problematic. Eventually, it would get to a point of having two identical papers. At that point, what’s the deal? I know nobody likes the whole “Alternative” idea, does not want to be an establishment.

Shomik – Doesn’t have an opinion. If we’re going to go in that direction, we need to do it. An honest news reporter would be more inclined to the other publication. That’s the discussion we need to have as a paper. We have an identity crisis.

Bailee – We aren’t alternative. It is good to see what other things are doing, I think rather than trying to be like another paper we need to focus on how to improve ourselves as a paper. Let’s figure out what we are and stick to it.

Ben – We’ve covered many things that the other paper has done. We know our image; we know what we’re good at. Certain circles enjoy our coverage. It is important to maintain those who are wholeheartedly behind us.

Morey – We’ve grown, it’s better than what it’s been before.

Bailee – Going into this, I never wanted to publish for the sake of publishing. Wants to be proud of everything that is put out.

Maria – It’s unhealthy to put each other in context of the other publication. We’re unique in that respect.

Gilberto – In agreement with both previous statements. Publishing for the sake of publishing would be a disservice to our readers. Everything should be treated with the love and understanding that it deserves.

Shomik – Not pushing for us to be a breaking news source, should decide upon a protocol. TBL has come very far – we should push forward with a discussion on timeliness as a protocol. Everything is about improvement for us.

David – Comes in on Wednesday mornings for office hours, fine so long as we adjust to it. Past few times the distributor hasn’t been able to distribute until Thursday. We need to adjust to that.

Bailee – We can have different discussions regarding options.

Sarah – We’re doing something right – last two weeks have been turned in before seven. Communication among copy has been very strong.

David – Has had a few online only articles that have had strong turnarounds.

Shomik – Thanks to everyone for allowing this discourse. As long as we can politely discuss it, it’s healthy.

E-3. What is TBL?

David – Not opposed to the term alternative. What it is may sound like a dirty word, doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

Hector – At retreat, said he hated the word alternative. Has come to embrace the word. We should have a dank meme about it.

Sarah – Doesn’t oppose the word. Doesn’t sound bad at all. Kinda cool and edgy.

Tara – One of the things against it: alternative brings to mind the idea of secondary.

Morey – Doesn’t mind alternative as long as the paper looks good.

Bailee – Bouncing off what Tara says. If we’re going to call ourselves the alternative paper, it is important what it defines what it means to be alternative. We should really find out why we are alternative. How can we convey to our audience that it’s not second best.
What does alternative mean to you?

Hector: Focuses more on investigative reporting. Worries about showing both sides of everything.

Ben: Back to investigative. Hearkens back to the our genesis. Investigative reporting and angles we take gives us greater credibility. They come up and are willing to work.

Gilberto – Google: available as another possibility.

Gwen – People come up to me after the articles we put out and loves how we keep people accountable. These are events that deserve to be reported on, then it’s important to have.

David – I think of Alt. Rock. We don’t know what that means either.

Bailee – I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s a possibility we like we’re alternative. To the average reader, what would they think.

Ben – Echo the comment made by Dave Whitman (RCSGD Director). Conversation was completely unrelated, yet went back to TBL.

Bailee – We’re a voice.

Hector – First Article I ever read (Winter Quarter freshman year) was a review of a play. Great review – still remembers the name of the play. Design of the paper and appreciated the fact that we didn’t cover sports. I joined because it was alternative.

Shomik – Came to TBL because he wanted to cover sports.

Bailee – we’re nice people.

Hector – Stood because of Isabelle.

Thea – Stood because everyone is passionate. This is very important.

E-4. Paper Review

Page one

Caption font is wrong – Feasibility Article

GOD BLESS MADDIE LEE. Excited to see what other work she puts out this year.

Page two

Two periods on the caption.

Ben’s photo – font is wrong.

Incorrect tense in the caption.

Bothers Thea that she can’t read the words on the photo. Should be larger.

Senate – 2,1PP: shouldn’t be a comma there

Space in the briefs section – took out the protest brief and a California one.

Staff Box – Madison’s last name is not hyphenated.

URL is wrong.

Page three

Francisco lives on his floor – good writer and strong photographer. Dedicated.

Do what you Love font is cool

Send Silence Packing headline could have been worded a bit clearer.

Would have preferred to seeing a photo for Send Silence Packing rather than the Thought Lounge.

Page Four

Looks really good.

Writer did a good job showing how the people are – welcoming, how they are.

Article was cute – had a good voice and nice descriptions. Very immersion.

Kols – three paragraphs in: two should have been spelled out.

Café in caption should be capitalized.

American Horror Story and Janet Jackson were both strong.

Page Five

Hello World article was great.

Page Six

Top and bottom images.

Wish there had been a blurb.

Some of the letters are cut off indicating which photos are which. No order as well.


Don’t think we should do the layout again – looks like a quiz.

Layout – Avoid putting white text on things. Looks better on the computer than it does in print.

The D is off. There is no E

Page Seven

A.I. Machine – number 5 in the middle of second column.

Pigs are adorable.

Cool Green – “minty”

Page Eight

Both illustrations are strong

The articles on gun violence go well together.

Articles could have not been completely stacked on top of each other.

Sentence in Obama article could have been worded better.


Marta - Veteran journalist – Melinda Burns – is willing to give some workshops to talk about work, finding stories, and the entire gamut. When can people show up to this? To bring someone like her (and take her time) I want people to take this seriously and show up for this.


Vote Taken: 10:21

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