Campus readers of the Denver Post, USA Today and New York Times may have noticed that racks with the publications have been running a little thin since spring break.
They’re not hallucinating.
With a presidential election at the beginning of the school year, extra papers were put out every day to ensure CSU readers were well informed on the candidates said USA Today regional sales manager Molly Hummel. This means the budget dictates that there are fewer papers at the tail end of the school year.
USA Today oversees the nationwide Collegiate Readership Program, which provides college students access to newspapers so they can be better informed, more engaged citizens, according to the program’s website.
Besides the election, by springtime students are more focused on studying for finals and spending time outdoors, which generally means less papers are put out.
“We tend to slow it down at this point in the year, but we’ve definitely heard the complaints this year,” Hummel said.
Part of the problem, ironically, is the growing popularity of the program. The number of papers left out as part of the Collegiate Readership Program has increased from 850 per day last year to an average of almost 1,200 a day so far this year.
“This year the program at CSU has done phenomenal. It has exceeded all expectations… ” Hummel said. “That 1,200 a day makes us one of the leading schools in the nation, specifically for USA Today pickup.”
The Commitment to Campus, a faculty and staff organization at CSU, has also started contributing funds to the program, meaning more faculty and staff are grabbing copies every morning.
One of those faculty members is adjunct philosophy professor Shawn Brady, who said he’ll grab a copy once a week if there’s an interesting story related to ethics on the cover.
“I definitely like having the papers available,” Brady said. “I don’t know if they need all three, though; one or two would work just as well.”
Working with a $75,000 yearly budget provided by ASCSU — plus money contributed by Commitment to Campus — the daily pick-up rate is closely monitored with weekly reports going to CSU Vice President of Operations Amy Parsons and ASCSU President Regina Martel.
Every day and week is adjusted for accordingly, with the goal to hit the sweet spot where students and faculty can grab a copy as needed, but there’s no leftover newspapers that end up being recycled. ASCSU is billed only for papers that are picked up.
Amanda Lockie, a junior English major, said she grabs a copy of the Denver Post maybe once a week or so.
“I did notice that they have been tending to sell out,” Lockie said. “I think it’s a good program to offer students.”
Senior Reporter Austin Briggs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.