Newspapers garner appreciation as readership program, recycling expand

Over the past few weeks, students have enjoyed reading the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and USA Today as part of the Illinois Readership Program. The effort to bring these papers to campus began back in 2007 with a trial period, bringing all three papers to campus to gauge student reaction. The item was placed on the Spring 2009 referendum ballot and passed with more than 57 percent. Over the summer, the Board of Trustees agreed to establish the $2-per-semester non-refundable student fee and within a few months, the papers were on campus.

I’ve heard of students kicking back and reading the comics, pouring over sudoku and crossword puzzles, citing articles in homework and research, catching up on sports scores from across the country and even brushing up on facts before heading to trivia nights at local establishments. The popularity of this program grows each day and we encourage students to continue taking these papers, engaging in discussion and breaking out of the campus bubble. These papers are your papers.

And better yet, when we come back from break, there will be more locations offering these papers to you throughout campus. All of the current locations, like the UGL, Greg Hall and the Union, will continue providing papers, but there will also be several new locations. You will be able to find them in more academic buildings and even residence halls.

Rest assured, though, that any papers left at the end of the day will not be charged to our account. Additionally, you should start seeing more recycling bins around campus. Between the two of these initiatives, we are helping to cut down on production costs, save money and protect the environment.

In order to help facilitate this process, the Illinois Student Senate has created an ad hoc committee. This committee is charged with facilitating a working relationship between building managers and the newspaper companies, evaluating the locations of bins and how many papers are distributed to each, ensuring the availability of recycling bins and answering any other questions or concerns that might come about from the program. The committee will then report back to the Illinois Student Senate and the office of the vice chancellor for student affairs.

If you have any questions or comments about the program, or if you would like to get involved with the committee, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected]

Senator Emily Ganschinietz

Chair of the Collegiate Readership Program Committee