"Red Ink" Native Publication being ousted by American Indian Studies
This is a recent bulletin regarding critical issues that currently face Red Ink, the longest running Native American publication produced solely by students. Just months after celebrating the 20th Anniversary of one of the only Native student run publications in the country, the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Arizona delivered a letter declaring its decision to disassociate itself with the publication. The correspondence was sent to the editorial board asking them to vacate their offices and no longer associate themselves with the American Indian Studies department or its supporters.
Red Ink stated that it was in disbelief and utter shock after receiving the unanticipated word Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011. Editor in Chief, Joe Quintana Ramirez (Santo Domingo) said, “We were not included in any discussion as to the fate of Red Ink nor were we given any opportunity to prepare.” He expressed, however, that Red Ink will be making an effort to stand its ground and is currently reaching out to Indian country and communities across the country for support.
Three very general reasons were given for this separation:
* Lack of academic progress by participating students. Yet no proof of any drop-out or low GPA's were provided. In fact, Red Ink has several staff members who maintain 4.0 averages.
* Red Ink’s failure to cite an author who did not submit a bio for the most recent edition. This was corrected and remains a priority issue that the Red Ink editorial staff does not take lightly.
* AIS departmental support of $2500, which was provided for publishing costs for their 20th Anniversary issue. Let it be noted, however, that the student editorial board raised enough funds on their own to cover printing costs and the amount granted by the AIS department was awarded toward the maintenance of the publication.
This decided disassociation by the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Arizona was done
without the input of anyone from Red Ink or the editorial staff. Although the AIS Department Head stated that AIS promotes direct student involvement, the department failed to consult any students prior to their decision. The new American Indian Studies Director, Dr. Ron Trosper stated that he will encourage faculty not to advise Red Ink. This becomes a most disheartening move on the part of AIS leadership which has been under scrutiny in recent months for questionable hiring practices.
As a 20 year literary/academic endeavor founded at the University of Arizona, Red Ink states that it will continue to move forward in a way that best honors the goals and integrity of a Native American legacy of literary scholarship and creativity.