Chaparral diversifies for funding

April 11, 2012, 2:05 a.m.

The Stanford Chaparral, the campus humor magazine founded in 1899, has not received special fees from students for the past two years. While the group has benefited from alternative sources of funding, co-editor-in-chief Sam Coggeshall ’12 says the publication is expanding its services in an attempt to receive special fees funding this year.


“We wanted to show that love was not just about soft music and dinners but about laughter, too,” said Coggeshall in reference to this year’s Valentine’s Day event “Black Love,” for which The Chaparral hosted comedian Kevin Avery.


The collaboration was part of an increased promotional effort from the publication after failing to secure special fees for two years in a row. Last year, it was one of two campus groups that did not receive special fees.


In order to secure special fees funding this year, the publication has been employing new strategies, including helping to host comedy events on campus.


In addition to the “Black Love“ event, the magazine partnered with the Jewish Student Association (JSA) to bring comedian Dan Mintz to campus in November last year.


“This is part of our efforts to broaden readership and presence,” Coggeshall said. “We are trying to get our name out there by bringing more than the magazine to campus.”


According to Coggeshall, The Chaparral’s strong support from alumni, including some who write for popular television series such as “The Simpsons” and “The Office,” enables it to bring guest comedians to campus.


The publication plans to host similar events this quarter.


Although content changes were not part of the publication’s new strategy, the group employed other methods, such as increasing distribution, hosting open houses, experimenting with new art designs and updating its website.


Coggeshall attributed the loss of special fees in part to the change in the voting system in 2010.


According to Coggeshall, instead of choosing which student groups not to vote for, a new voting procedure was introduced last year in which students had to select the student groups that they specifically wanted to receive special fees.


“Our presence just was not big enough,” Coggeshall said. “Not everyone knows what the Chappie is. Our humor may not necessarily be for everyone, but we feel that if more people were aware of us they would enjoy the magazine.”


According to Kate Abbott ’12, co-chair of the ASSU Publications Board, the Chaparral has been receiving its funding from the board instead. Abbott is a Daily staffer.


“The function of the Publications Board is to provide fees for publications that do not receive special fees, “Abbott said. “But the amount a publication can receive decreases with every additional year.”


Coggeshall, who is also a co-chair of the Publications Board, added that funding also came from The Stanford Fund but stated that overall funding from both the Publications Board and The Stanford Fund does not match the publication’s desired budget.


The Chaparral was founded in 1899 and currently publishes six times a year. It is the second-oldest college humor magazine, after The Harvard Lampoon.


Coggeshall defended the relevancy and the role of the magazine on campus.


“We are a part of Stanford’s history and traditions and a balance to the intense rat-race and goal-orientated Stanford ethos,” he said.



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