The Arizona Desert Lamp

Readership Program Update

Posted in Campus, Media, Politics by Evan Lisull on 5 January 2009

Way back in December, Sen. Emily Fritze (who has been in contact with the Desert Lamp before) emailed an update on the Collegiate Readership Program:

I have been in discussion about the choice of newspapers for the program. Turns out, the New York Times will be hard to get because they are difficult to work with. The USA Today program invests in electronic kiosks that can be stored outside; protecting newspapers from weather and restricting access to those not paying for program. They ask that other newspapers split the cost of the kiosks with them. The New York Times has recently stopped paying for the electronic kiosks.

Unfortunately, facilities management will not grant USA Today access into the insides of most buildings which eliminates the potential use of wire cage kiosks. Additionally, facilities management does not want wire cages on the outside of buildings around campus, for fear of littered papers everywhere [Emphasis added — EML]. They agreed that we could use them for the pilot program but not for additional time after. Electronic kiosks will be necessary to appease facilities management and ensure that students are getting the newspapers.

Good thing that the Wildcat existed before Facilities Management — I can’t imagine that all that “waste” they manufacture would be approved today. For the record, FM’s mission statement reads as follows:

The Mission of Facilities Management at the University of Arizona is to effectively and efficiently provide services that support the faculty, staff, and students in pursuit of excellence in their individual and institutional, academic, research, and community objectives. These services are directed toward the pursuit of sustainability in the maintenance and operation of all facilities.

So, essentially, they’ve decided that adhering to “green” standards is more important than helping students gain a broader sense of current affairs, establishing reading habits, and encouraging extracurricular learning. Lovely.

The shortsightedness of this decision is dumbfounding. You can almost hear the condescension in the administrator’s voice, allowing for the kids to try out their nifty little idea, but making it perfectly clear that this will not be allowed to go on after the trial period. You can’t help but to love the forward-thinking, innovation-encouraging bureaucracy.

There is, however, good news:

However, other national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal can be used. We are going to use USA Today and a local paper for the pilot program, and then survey to see what national newspaper is most popular among students. I seriously doubt that USA Today is the most popular newspaper on this campus, but we will make changes according to the survey.

The Journal not only is a great paper (frankly, I find the Journal more erudite than the Times), but choosing the Journal might help to get Eller involved. Already, many classes require or “encourage” students to sign up for a semester’s subscription to the paper.

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2 Responses

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  1. J.D. said, on 5 January 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I’d be thrilled to see the WSJ on campus. I disagree with its editorial stance probably about 80 percent of the time, but its news coverage is probably the best in the country.

  2. […] in Campus, Media, Politics by Connor Mendenhall on January 7th, 2009 Evan’s been gung-ho about USA Today’s Collegiate Readership Program since ASUA Sen. Emily Fritze proposed it to […]


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