Collegiate Readership Program starts trial run
The Collegiate Readership Program has launched on campus and provides students with free local and national newspapers.
Student Government Association Chief of Staff and diplomacy and international relations major Grant McIntire said that the program offers copies of USA Today, New York Times and Star-Ledger to students by the entrance of the cafeteria, outside of the Pirate’s Cove and on the second floor of Jubilee Hall.
According to McIntire, the maximum cost of the program will be $2,300 for the pilot period.
“We only pay for the papers we consume, so we will come in below that cost,” McIntire said. “USA Today has given us four weeks for free and four weeks paid as part of the pilot program.”
McIntire said that currently the pilot project will last until Spring Break.
“The purpose is to familiarize the campus with the newspapers and to see if the papers are indeed useful and desired,” McIntire said.
McIntire said that during the first week of the program, students have responded very positively.
“We have had all of the papers consumed every day of the week, signaling a huge demand for the papers by the student body and faculty alike,” McIntire said. “Students have also reached out asking for more copies and even different papers being added to the program.”
Senior and broadcast and visual media major Caitlin Duffy said she did not know much about the program, but she is glad it exists.
“It helps spread news to students, and I also like that it’s free,” Duffy said. “I know a lot of students who don’t know about current events.”
Duffy also said the availabiliy of the newspapers is a perfect opportunity for students.
McIntire said that USA Today has been a big help with introducing the program at Seton Hall.
“USA Today manages the Collegiate Readership Program, and they have helped us through every step of the process and gave us valuable insight,” McIntire said. “When we told them our (SGA) budget restraints, they worked with us and gave us four weeks completely free.”
According to McIntire, SGA was willing to give the program a shot because of USA Today’s help.
“The SGA took a leap of faith in return and a big chunk from our operations budget as well to bring the program onto campus,” McIntire said. “I truly believe that the desire for the program is there, but that it will boil down to finding funding for the program.”
McIntire explained that in order for the program to continue after the pilot period is over, Seton Hall is going to have to step in to help fund it.
If the program is able to continue, McIntire said that SGA would like to have more newspaper racks around campus.
Duffy agreed that more locations would be beneficial.
“I think there should be more stands and they should be as close to the door as possible so people will be more likely to see them and take advantage of the program,” Duffy said.
McIntire said he believes that the program can help educate students.
“I believe that students are in fact enjoying the benefits from having another resource on campus which will help them succeed in class and in understanding a wide variety of news and issues,” McIntire said.
Kimberly Bolognini can be reached at Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org.