BY Reid Buckley
With all the talk of ‘sustainability” and ‘going green,” I have found a great source of hypocrisy here at UR in the College Readership Program. For those who are not familiar with the program, the CRP is responsible for providing copies of the New York Times, the Democrat ‘ Chronicle and USA Today to four locations on campus, five days per week.
The program is subsidized by USA Today and was started due to the Students’ Association’s effort. Over the course of the 2008-09 calendar year, the SA reported that a total of $18,000 was spent on the program. $25,000 is being spent on the program for this calendar year. $5,000 of the difference is from the Dean of the College because over 50 percent of students responded to course evaluations in the Fall ’08 semester, the other $2,000 is from the SA.
While some may find no greater joy than sitting down with a morning cup of joe and a NY Times, I believe there is a more environmentally friendly and economically responsible means of providing undergraduates with a left-leaning rendition of the daily news. For no charge, anyone who wishes can log on to www.nytimes.com and www.democratandchronicle.com and view both papers in their entireties.
While USA Today does charge a fee for online viewing, statistics gathered by the SA show that it is the least popular publication of the three. Although largely incomplete, the SA gathered data of readership at five campus locations: Starbucks, Gleason, Douglass Dining Center and Susan B. Anthony Hall.
Encouraging online viewing would not only reduce the amount of waste created by papers scattered across campus, but it would also eliminate the need for funds for CRP. If UR were to dedicate an additional $25,000 to student-run sustainability efforts rather than to the CRP, I believe the impact seen by students would vastly outweigh the convenience of having the ‘Sports” section to mop up a spilled pumpkin spice latte.
Buckley is a member of
the class of 2011.