St. John’s, St. Ben’s Student Senates Vote To End Free National Newspaper Program
COLLEGEVILLE - If students at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict want to read the newspaper, they're going to have to start paying for it themselves.
This week the joint student senates voted to end their agreement with the "Collegiate Readership Program". It's a collaboration with USA Today to bring newspapers to college campuses. Colleges are only charged for newspapers that are actually taken off the rack, which the student senates then pay for.
St. John's Student Senate President Alex Wald says they've been talking about eliminating the program for about four years now.
We've talked about it and at the joint meeting we decided this is the year. Our usage numbers are about 50 percent lower than they were two years ago. And, we decided it makes sense for us to cut it this year, and explore more ways to bring the news to our students in digital or mobile formats.
Wald says the program was costing them about $22,000 a year, or about 25 percent of their annual budget.
Wald says they are looking into more online options for students.
As part of the meeting we formed a task force, which will be looking at how we can get students the news most efficiently. One interesting model that we have in mind is the model Concordia-Moorhead uses. They are able to workout an online subscription for the New York Times so that every student who has a smartphone can get the New York Times app for free, and have access to stories behind their paywall.
Through the program, students on both campuses were able to read both the New York Times and USA Today newspapers.