Due to a reallocation of spending priorities, the University announced its need to shave $3 million from its operating budget. One program being cut is GW Reads, which provides three major newspapers to students in residence halls. Eliminating this program will save the University $90,000, but it will prove detrimental to the general education of the student body.
Reading newspapers can be an integral part of an individual’s educational experience. Reading a newspaper exposes students to current events and forces them to think critically about those events. Given the propensity of young people to ignore print media these days and their apathy about world events, eliminating the newspaper readership program may exacerbate an already serious problem in young people today.
Although GW Reads is important, this page recognizes that participating in the program is a significant expense. In an attempt to lessen the financial burden, the University should consider either reducing circulation, restricting where the newspapers are offered or attempting to renegotiate the cost of providing the papers. If such moves are impossible, the University should look into negotiating a reduced fee students could pay to subscribe to a newspaper such as The Washington Post.
In difficult economic times, budget cutbacks are inevitable. Given the likelihood of excess spending and bureaucracy in the Student and Academic Support Services budget, there should be a serious assessment of whether GW Reads has to be affected by this round of budget cuts. The University should look into ways of continuing this program to ensure students are given a cost-effective way to learn about current events.