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Lighthouse Insiders Confirm Fiscal Woes

By Ariel R. Frank

A report last week that Lighthouse Magazine was approximately $3,500 in debt was grossly exaggerated, according to a former member of the organization's editorial board.

Megan L. Peimer '97, who is also co-president of the Radcliffe Union of Students, said yesterday the reported value of the debt was exaggerated "by orders of magnitude," with the reported number being much closer to the cost of publishing an issue than to the magazine's debt. But Peimer did confirm the publication's financial troubles, first reported in the Harvard Independent.

"I'm concerned that the only magazine for the discussion of women's issues that is currently being published on campus might fold," Peimer said. "It's been a case of poor vision for a couple of years."

Officers familiar with the precise numbers could not be reached for comment.

A source close to Lighthouse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that in the past, the magazine was printed on credit from Turley Publications. Within the past year, the source said the printer refused to extend any more credit to Lighthouse and threatened to stop printing it.

The same source added that the financial troubles have been five or six years coming, adding that a member quit in December because the editorial board did not heed her warnings concerning a dearth of funds.

Peimer said, however, that the magazine's officers have taken steps to improve its finances. They are currently meeting with the Office of the Dean of Students and soliciting advertisers more actively than they have in the past.

A former staff member, Meghna S. Majmudar '99, said she had not known about the problems until recently, but has since heard some students say they would contribute their won money if it was needed to save the magazine.

According to Dorothy Wang '97, Lighthouse editor, the total cost of publishing an issue is $2,000.

She would not comment on whether the magazine will be able to print its next issue, but said the publication is waiting to hear about grants it applied for last week.

According to former staff members, however, the magazine's problems are more than financial.

Peimer said that she stopped working for the quarterly last spring because its political ideology was too non-committal and its board mem- bers were selecting submissions based on loyalties rather than quality. She did add that she believed that the atmosphere had improved since last year.

"They're having all this internal strife," the source close to the magazine agreed. "Lighthouse's problems aren't all financial. They're ideological."

And while Wang said no one on the publication's staff has voiced any discontent to her, Peimer said some members quit last year because hostility pervaded the meetings.

Current Lighthouse staff members said they want to redefine the magazine's mission and decide if it should present a stronger position on gender issues rather than just portray an unbiased forum for discussion.

But they said their immediate goal is raising enough money to publish the next issue.

"It's our sincere hope that we can pull it off because it will mark the beginning of the road towards our redefinition," said Jay W. Glaubach '97, Lighthouse's managing editor.

He also said that while the magazine does experience rapid turnover, he does not think it is because of dissent.

Rather, he said it is because Lighthouse did not have a comp until this year, so members did not feel committed to the magazine.

Majmudar said she quit for this reason.

Meanwhile, former staffers said that other magazines for women's issues are springing up on campus. The Tampoon, a magazine that addresses women's issues in a humorous format, published its first issue last year and is working on another for November.

Tampoon applied for grants and is trying to solicit more advertisers and writers this year so it can be dropped at doors in all undergraduate dorms, according to Co-editor Liz W. Schoyer '97.

"If Lighthouse goes under and a women's magazine needs to step up and fill that role...we would fill that role," she added.

Another magazine, Sponge, is also being organized.

And Common Knowledge, the newsletter of the Lyman Common Room, is currently distributed to between 1,500 and 2,000 people, according to Co-editor Mia Bagneris '99.

Bagneris, who is also involved with the Lighthouse Conference, said the conference and the magazine had shared a bank account but are now in the process of separating their accounts.

The conference, which draws about 150 female high school students to Radcliffe every year, was originally a fundraiser for the magazine. But for the past several years, the conference has been more of a public service than a fundraiser, Bagneris said.

The money earned by the conference was recorded in the magazine's account even though it was not money the magazine could use.

"[The magazine's business managers] don't know how much money they really have," Bagneris said. "In the interest of straightening out the finances, we will become two separate organizations."

In addition, the shared account requires conference organizers to obtain magazine editors' approval before signing checks or depositing money

"They're having all this internal strife," the source close to the magazine agreed. "Lighthouse's problems aren't all financial. They're ideological."

And while Wang said no one on the publication's staff has voiced any discontent to her, Peimer said some members quit last year because hostility pervaded the meetings.

Current Lighthouse staff members said they want to redefine the magazine's mission and decide if it should present a stronger position on gender issues rather than just portray an unbiased forum for discussion.

But they said their immediate goal is raising enough money to publish the next issue.

"It's our sincere hope that we can pull it off because it will mark the beginning of the road towards our redefinition," said Jay W. Glaubach '97, Lighthouse's managing editor.

He also said that while the magazine does experience rapid turnover, he does not think it is because of dissent.

Rather, he said it is because Lighthouse did not have a comp until this year, so members did not feel committed to the magazine.

Majmudar said she quit for this reason.

Meanwhile, former staffers said that other magazines for women's issues are springing up on campus. The Tampoon, a magazine that addresses women's issues in a humorous format, published its first issue last year and is working on another for November.

Tampoon applied for grants and is trying to solicit more advertisers and writers this year so it can be dropped at doors in all undergraduate dorms, according to Co-editor Liz W. Schoyer '97.

"If Lighthouse goes under and a women's magazine needs to step up and fill that role...we would fill that role," she added.

Another magazine, Sponge, is also being organized.

And Common Knowledge, the newsletter of the Lyman Common Room, is currently distributed to between 1,500 and 2,000 people, according to Co-editor Mia Bagneris '99.

Bagneris, who is also involved with the Lighthouse Conference, said the conference and the magazine had shared a bank account but are now in the process of separating their accounts.

The conference, which draws about 150 female high school students to Radcliffe every year, was originally a fundraiser for the magazine. But for the past several years, the conference has been more of a public service than a fundraiser, Bagneris said.

The money earned by the conference was recorded in the magazine's account even though it was not money the magazine could use.

"[The magazine's business managers] don't know how much money they really have," Bagneris said. "In the interest of straightening out the finances, we will become two separate organizations."

In addition, the shared account requires conference organizers to obtain magazine editors' approval before signing checks or depositing money

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