Newspaper options absent on campus

By Katie Dunn, Staff Writer

If students want a hard-copy newspaper at EWU they will have to pay for one, or read The Easterner.

On Feb. 6 the ASEWU announced the termination of the program, which provided students with copies of The New York Times and The Spokesman-Review.

Members of the ASEWU felt the cost of the program was too high for the number of students using it and that the funding for the program could be used in other places, said Keirstan Hanson, director of finances for the ASEWU.

The program was established to offer Eastern students a chance to get engaged in classroom conversations and to help them develop higher-thinking skills.

The ASEWU originally allotted $11,000 for the program, but the cost went up over time, said Hanson.

At the start of the 2005 fall quarter, the ASEWU began contributing money for the program, along with Academic Affairs and deans from individual colleges, according to the 2012-2013 ASEWU’s budget questionnaire response.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, two of the other contributors to the program ceased funding, forcing the ASEWU to cover more of the cost.

According to ASEWU’s recent press release, they were asked to contribute just over $21,000 annually to keep the program running.

Alternatives were considered.

“We originally thought, ‘Hey, let’s just bump it down and do 30 papers a day on campus,’” said Hanson. “But at the same time, we have people coming to us and saying, ‘Hey, why aren’t you funding this anymore?’”

Eastern’s readership program went through several phases of distribution.

Two years ago, newspapers were located in the PUB’s Eagle Express Market, said Hanson. Students could show their IDs to the cashiers and they would receive their paper.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, 150 newspapers were placed in bins around the PUB daily and were available to anyone who wanted one.

At the beginning of the 2014-2015 fall quarter, they disappeared altogether.

Hanson said not many students came to talk to the ASEWU when the newspapers stopped appearing, but a few professors asked about bringing them back.

Journalism instructors like William Stimson and Jamie Neely are some of the faculty members who used the newspapers in class to provide examples for students.

The ASEWU thought about paying for online copies of the newspapers, but it would still have been expensive and the professors preferred the physical copies, said Hanson.

“If students really want this, we’re not going to say 100 percent no, like we’re going to look into it if they really want it,” said Hanson. “But we have not really heard anything from the students.”

To contact ASEWU about the Campus Readership Program call Keirstan Hanson, ASEWU director of finances, at 509-359-7052.