Community pushes papers behind university counters
The ASUI Readership Program provides free newspapers for students, but because the program was being abused by Moscow community members, the papers now require a student ID for access.
“The Readership Program is sponsored for students — in the policy it specifically states (they are) just for students,” said Colleen Quinn, University of Idaho director of student involvement. “There’s a pull-in at the SUB where we had employees notice people pull in … grab a stack of New York Times and run off.”
Quinn said this misuse prompted the discussion with ASUI about a solution.
“She presented it at senate and we talked about it as well,” said Hannah Davis, ASUI president. “It might be a little more inconvenient, but the possibility that our student fees are going to the public is more influential than taking the extra time.”
Quinn said the program costs students $32,000 a year, so while it may not seem like a big deal that a few papers went to non-students, they need to make sure papers go to the proper people.
The papers are now available behind the Idaho Commons and Student Union Building’s information desks, with a Vandal ID.
Quinn said when they were evaluating the move, they addressed the issue that students may not want to spend the extra time to get a paper, as the convenience of grabbing a copy on the go would no longer exist.
She said if they didn’t think there was misuse, they wouldn’t have made the change.
“It shouldn’t take that long to show your Vandal ID or say ‘Hey, I’m a student,’” Davis said. “But it will make it more inconvenient for those who shouldn’t be taking the paper.”
Quinn said this includes faculty and staff.
“They were benevolent, they didn’t know,” Quinn said.
Because the program is paid for by student fees, this technically means faculty and staff have been abusing the program as well.
Quinn said students operating the information desks will keep track of how many papers are taken and how many complaints they receive so the change can be reevaluated in two weeks.
She said if there are a lot of complaints from faculty and staff, she might recommend that they talk to the faculty senate to create their own program.
Davis said the move might be temporary, but this way, they can evaluate the programs use and see if the move is needed.
Katy Sword can be reached at email@example.com