ASCSU switches NYT to online subscription for all students, faculty

Ceci Taylor

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The Associated Students of Colorado State University recently passed a resolution that moved The New York Times subscription from paper copies to the online version. The new method went into effect last Thursday.

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Zachary Vaishampayan, ASCSU chief of staff, said The New York Times approached ASCSU late in the fall semester of 2018 to convert. He said ASCSU was interested for a few reasons, one of them being because of the lack of paper copies The New York Times provided.

Currently, students pay 50 cents for The New York Times as a part of CSU’s readership program, Vaishampayan said. The total yearly cost of all the newspaper subscriptions is $66,000, included in ASCSU’s general account. 

“We’re a campus of about 32,000 students and maybe 5,000 faculty and staff,” Vaishampayan said. “229 copies isn’t exactly a lot. With the digital subscription, it’s a copy for every student and faculty member.”

ASCSU President Tristan Syron said the old amount wasn’t meeting student or faculty demand. 

“If you were up early enough, you were a lucky student,” Syron said. “If you were here at 11, you were out of luck.”

“As we educate America’s future, they should know what they’re talking about, and in order to do that, they should have access to media. You’re at a world-class university; you should understand what’s happening in the world.” Tristan Syron, ASCSU President.

Vaishampayan also said they made the switch because of environmental concerns.

“Environmentally … 229 copies of an admittedly large newspaper and distribution is high, whereas online, I suppose there’d be electricity costs, but that’s about it,” Vaishampayan said.

Vaishampayan also mentioned accessibility concerns with the old paper subscription.

“With the online version, you can read it anywhere,” Vaishampayan said. “It’s also compatible with e-readers, or text to speech devices, and, admittedly, they’re not back (to) doing this, but recently all their videos have closed captions for the hearing impaired.”

To access the NYT digital subscription, go to accessnyt.com, choose “Colorado State University,” and sign up with your school “@rams.colostate.edu” email.

Vaishampayan said that the new contract kept the price of the subscription the same as before, but now students have access to a lot more resources, including archives going back to the 19th century and educational resources, especially for journalism majors. 

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Besides The New York Times, CSU’s readership program offers students paper copies of both The Denver Post, to provide a state paper, and USA Today. 

“This program has been going on for at least 10 years, probably longer,” Vaishampayan said. “Those decisions were made a long time ago, but we still stand by the three newspapers that were chosen.”

Syron said they learned their lesson after Silva’s impeachment and actually passed a resolution through the senate.

“We would’ve been able to execute this faster had we not passed a resolution, but we decided that the right thing to do was to make sure everyone had a say,” Syron said.

Syron said that staying informed is important, which is why CSU provides these papers for students, faculty and staff.

Empty newsstand with sign saying CSU has digital subscription to the NYT
Newsstands announce that ASCSU has changed the New York Times subscription to digitals so CSU students can now access their subscriptions online. (Anna Montesanti | Collegian)

“As we educate America’s future, they should know what they’re talking about, and in order to do that, they should have access to media,” Syron said. “You’re at a world-class university; you should understand what’s happening in the world.”

So far, there isn’t much talk into digitalizing The Denver Post or USA Today, but it is a possibility.

“At this point, we want to see how The New York Times would go,” Vaishampayan said. “If the program goes well, I absolutely think they should look into that sort of thing.”

Vaishampayan said that all students and faculty have to do to sign up is go to accessnyt.com, choose “Colorado State University” and sign up with their school “@rams.colostate.edu” email.

Vaishampayan encouraged everyone to sign up for the new subscription.

“This is one of the benefits that you have nowadays going to a university — getting opportunities like this,” Vaishampayan said. “How many employers in the future will be providing The New York Times for you? This is an opportunity you have being a college student; I say take it.”

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt