Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

National Newspapers to Be Distributed on Campus

Students will soon be able to read The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today on campus for free, after months of negotiations between GUSA, InterHall and the university. After reaching an agreement with a USA Today program called the Collegiate Readership Program, students will be able to get free copies of the papers from stands at O’Donovan Hall, Red Square, Alumni Square and a Corp location in the Leavey Center – either in front of Vital Vittles or Uncommon Grounds. Newspapers will be available Monday through Friday, except during semester breaks. Student association president Ben Shaw (COL ’08) said he hopes to get the program underway by the end of February. Students will have to swipe their GOCards in order to access the free newspapers, according to Caitlin Chen (COL ’08), vice president of advocacy for InterHall. She said the machines on the stands will not be able to detect any information from the GOCards, so students’ personal information would be secure. Chen said it will cost the university 25 cents for each issue of The Washington Post and 45 cents for each issue of The New York Times. The first month will be free, she said, as a trial period to see what the demand will be for the newspapers on campus. GUSA was able to raise $25,000 from a variety of sources, which Shaw thinks will be the approximate cost of providing The New York Times and The Washington Post to campus for one calendar year. “We raised $25,000 to pay for the newspapers and we feel it will meet the needs,” he said. The money came from five sources – GUSA, The Corp, InterHall, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Senior Vice President each donated $5,000. According to Chen, the university will only be billed for the number of papers students remove from the boxes, not the number that are delivered. The idea of providing free newspapers to the campus was an idea that Shaw, Chen and GUSA Vice President Matt Appenfeller (COL ’08) first had when the three arrived as transfer students during their sophomore year. “We were all transfers and our last schools all had free newspapers,” Chen said. Starting in January 2007, Chen and Shaw contacted USA Today in efforts to start the program at Georgetown. Shaw and Appenfeller made free newspapers part of their platform in their GUSA campaign last year. Appenfeller and Chen both said that the process to get the Collegiate Readership Program on campus was lengthy due to the approval process from the administration. When they decided to have the newspaper stands placed around campus, they had to seek approval from a number of administrations including Facilities, Housing and Auxiliary services. “We pretty much went to every administrative department on campus and [Vice President for Student Affairs] Todd Olson,” Shaw said. Shaw said that Olson signed the contract with the Collegiate Readership Program for one year of newspapers. There were a number of concerns the administration had with having free newspapers on campus, he said. For one, the university was worried about who would be paying for the bill if GUSA was unable to raise the money for another calendar year of issues. A second concern was whether or not the extra newspapers would create more waste on campus. In order to address this issue, GUSA and Interhall approached EcoAction to enlist the environmental organization’s involvement in the recycling process. “We worked one on one [with administrators] and then in big groups and that really cleared up the air and eased their fears,” said Chen. The responsibility to continue this program will be left to the next Interhall vice president of student advocacy and the next president of GUSA. “This is a built-in responsibility in the role of vice president of student advocacy and is also stipulated in the USA Today contract,” said Chen. Shaw said Olson and Erika Cohen-Derr, director of student programs, will remain involved in the program. Cohen-Derr, who handles funding for GUSA, will help coordinate payment for the newspapers. Both Chen and Shaw said they are confident the program will continue and students seem to be interested in having the free newspapers on campus. “I’d read the Times,” said Ashley Tedone (COL ’10). Alexandra Miller (SFS ’10) would definitely take advantage of the opportunity for free newspapers. “I think newspapers are good in general,” Miller said. Shaw himself said that students were very enthusiastic about the new program. “People were salivating over the newspaper program,” he said.

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