Save ‘The Batt’

Editorial Board

On Feb. 10, Texas A&M University’s President, Katherine Banks, announced that after the Spring 2022 semester The Battalion would be forced to terminate print editions, thus forcing the publication to become completely digital. 

The Battalion, or “The Batt,” has been serving A&M since 1893 and students are disheartened after hearing the news. President Banks believes that transitioning to fully online is the only way for the publication to continue to thrive and focus on digital and multimedia platforms rather than print.

“I think it’s a new era for the Battalion. It won’t be in print,” Banks said in a Battalion article that broke the news to the public. “Consider the positives. We’re not in charge here, the audience is in charge,” Banks continued.

The article goes on to say that despite the unsettling news, the collaboration between university leadership and The Battalion will continue forward, meaning the publication will still be under the supervision of the university. It also clarifies that this demand to shut down the print edition is coming entirely from President Banks and not the publication’s readership. Apparently, Banks does not understand why print editions are so important.
Unfortunately, the publication is unable to ignore Banks’ demands, otherwise they will be stripped of all necessary resources such as workspace, advisors and anything else provided by the university. Maybe it is time they consider separating from the university and becoming independent. 

Instances like this prove just how vital print editions truly are to college communities. Students are enraged and taking to social media with their thoughts while using the trending hashtag #SaveTheBatt. 

“Traditions are what makes Texas A&M unique. It makes no sense why you would get rid of a cornerstone of our school for no apparent reason. Save The Batt,” Barstool Texas A&M said via Twitter. 

“For the Battalion, ending print wipes out revenue that is already booked … through its sales partnership with Texas student newspapers across the U.S.,” another student shared on Twitter. 

While it is inspiring to see so many students banding together to save print editions, it raises concerns amongst other student newspapers. Universities should not be allowed to pull the plug whenever they feel like it, especially without consulting the students involved. The entire point of student journalism is to amplify quiet voices — and it is clear that administrators would rather they stay silent.

As a pillar of independent student journalism, The Paisano stands with The Battalion. Their voices are being heard all the way in San Antonio; let’s just hope that the A&M administrators are listening.