Jim Maskeri named administrator of Student Readership Program

For a fee of two dollars, students have access to The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today. The Unversity’s Collegiate Readership Program, created in 2009 by the Illinois Student Senate, or ISS, has 34 distribution racks across campus. ISS is naming Jim Maskeri, LAS senator and junior in LAS, administrator of the program.

The program is part of a larger national initiative sponsored by USA Today. These papers can be a valuable asset, especially for research projects, explained student body president David Pileski.

“The whole program is designed to provide students with access to papers, which will make them more aware of their community and their world. It’s a great opportunity to make sure students don’t get stuck in the campus bubble,” Pileski said.

Maskeri said students are “definitely utilizing the program,” with approximately 1,675 papers picked up each day. The program does not charge the University for papers that are left in the bins at the end of the day, which are then recycled. In spite of this refund, there is very little money left in the account, explained Maskeri.

The Academic Affairs Chair generally organizes the readership program. Maskeri has served this role for the past year, but ISS has now decided to create the role of administrator to ensure that an ISS member is formally responsible for overseeing the program.

“We recently formalized our administrative capacity with it (the Collegiate Readership Program) by passing a resolution in September,” Pileski said. “We have the Academic Affairs Committee and the Campus Affairs Committee reviewing the program and making sure it is robust.”

Maskeri and a USA Today representative examine the strength of the program and how it can be improved. Maskeri said his primary focus is “managing the distribution and making sure all students have access to these papers.”