A war over words

Program needs more publicity

Steve Chastain | Guest Columnist

The Collegiate Readership Program is a great program that I believe the Student Government Association should keep. I am a member of SGA and I have been fighting for this program to stay on campus. The empty boxes around campus need to be filled with newspapers.

Most students don’t know that the papers are free. Maybe we as a student government have failed our students, because I have never seen a sign that said free to students. We may have been told, but you don’t remember everything you are told when you are coming in as a freshman. We had a visitor come last Wednesday and he stated that we only pay for the papers we use. We pay 40 cents a paper, and we spent $7,900 last year on papers, so don’t tell me that students don’t use this program.

I do understand that we can get this information on our smart phones, but we get more information in the paper. I am always at the COT and there is always a paper that is out of stock, so the information that was given out that we do not use enough papers is false. This program has been here at Pittsburg State for years now FREE to students and they are trying to let it just go without too much thought.

Voting on Wednesday Sep. 5 will decide if we keep The Morning Sun, The Joplin Globe, and USA Today free for students at PSU.

Voting on Wednesday Sep. 5 will decide if we keep The Morning Sun, The Joplin Globe, and USA Today free for students at PSU.

It is my goal as a student representative of this student body to do what is the best for the students now and for years to come. I read the paper and I believe the paper is an important way for us to stay connected to the world around us. We are the future, so why not keep updated with what the future has for us. Our student fees have already paid to keep this program for a few more years, so let’s keep the program going and use the money that we, as students, have paid to have this program.

The money that we have would not make your student fees decrease, but they would use it for something else that may not benefit what this Collegiate Readership Program has given to Pittsburg State University.

Keep the Collegiate Readership Program.

Steve Chastain is a senior in construction management.

Money would be better spent elsewhere

Lara Ismert | Guest Columnist

Instead of referring them as the “cons” of the Collegiate Readership Program, I’d prefer to call them the pros of not renewing the Collegiate Readership Program this year. For all intents and purposes, there are no “cons” to the Student Government Association providing free newspapers to students. However, there are pros to SGA not renewing the program and reallocating the annual $8,000 for the Collegiate Readership Program to another service for students.

The idea of not renewing the program came in response to declining readership numbers and discussion over the efficacy of the annual price of the contract with the USA Today Collegiate Readership Program. This is not the first year that SGA has questioned the benefit of this program in relation to its price tag; in 2010 the majority of SGA voted to renew the contract simply because we had not polled enough students to determine whether the non-renewal of this service would negatively impact a large population.

This year, however, our senators have been surveying students in person and on Facebook, and the students’ responses reflect that most students are indifferent toward the nonrenewal of the program, or would like to see their student fee dollars spent elsewhere. SGA stopped collecting student fees for this program in 2008 when it was evident that there was enough money to sustain the program for a few more years without an annual student fee. This not only reflects the decline in readership numbers over the years, but leads me to believe that the money left over for the Collegiate Readership program could be put to use in other areas, like extended library hours.

At last night’s SGA meeting, I suggested that the money allocated for the Collegiate Readership Program could be reallocated toward a pilot year of extended library hours. Since money has not been budgeted to keep the library open for 5-10 more hours per week, this may be a hindrance to SGA’s goal of permanently extending library hours by the end of this year. With the money saved from the nonrenewal of the Collegiate Readership Program, SGA could help pay for the first year of incurred expenses at the library by extending its hours.

In response to the benefits of keeping the Collegiate Readership Program, I strongly recommend that all of our students be aware of the news in our community, state, country and world. However, I do not believe that the newspaper is the only media that this can be achieved through. USA Today and New York Times are available online for free, and free apps for your smartphone can be downloaded for both of these newspapers. Not to mention, the library also provides the papers, for free.

Lara Ismert is a senior in math and English.

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