Readership program begins

By Michael Logli

Beginning Monday, more students can pick up a copy of The Chicago Tribune, USA Today or The New York Times. Though already in residence halls, the program will now expand its coverage and supply these newspapers to 11 other main academic halls on campus.

The new range of choices comes from the Collegiate Readership Program, an initiative sponsored by USA Today to encourage the education of students through reading newspapers. This will be a trial period to determine student interest in the project, and it will last until mid-November.

According to the program’s Web site, the Collegiate Readership Program is active on more than 400 campuses nationwide. Katie Hamilton, senior in LAS and student senator, has worked for the past year with the Illinois Student Senate and USA Today to increase the program’s distribution.

“If all goes well, a student will have free access to those papers on campus every day,” she said.

Funding for the project is the main issue surrounding whether the increased circulation will last through the trial period. The project will cost a projected $60,000 a year, and there is no funding from the University for this project. Though she has asked the deans of different colleges for funding, Hamilton said many of them are waiting for student feedback before they offer financial support.

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    ISS may draft a student referendum in the spring that would create a $1 student fee to help pay for this service.

    The project also creates the problem of extra recyclable waste throughout campus, which was one of the reasons why the program took so long to enact, Hamilton said. During the trial period, University recycling will monitor the waste created and determine if more recycling bins are needed if the project continues.

    Hamilton said she hopes to find the funding to continue the program.

    “Reading a newspaper will be important not only while in college, but when you get out of college as well,” she said.