Because of efforts made by the Student Association, free newspapers will again be available in residence halls and select academic buildings by the start of the fall semester, according to University and Student Association officials.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today will return to all residence halls, said SA Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal will be available at Duques Hall to business students and The Economist will be offered at 1957 E Street for international affairs students.
“This program needed to come back,” said Kroeger, a junior. “It’s coming in at a force even greater than it was before.”
The GW Readership program, more commonly known as GW Reads, was cut last year due to budget constraints. University officials announced late last spring that the program was likely to return this fall.
“The expressed feeling among students in residence is that they missed their daily newspaper fix!” wrote Robert Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, in an e-mail. “Given the fact that GW students are generally interested in world and national events, it is only logical that the University responded favorably to SASS’s request for funding (of the program).”
Johnnie Osborne, associate vice president and chief financial officer for SASS, said the program will probably cost SASS between $40,000 and $45,000. He said SASS would not cut other programs but rather plans to “streamline” the budget.
“We’re always looking to be more efficient . that’s how we originally decided to cut back,” Osborne said.
Kroeger said no money from the SA student fee funds would be used to pay for the free newspapers.
Osborne said “priorities change,” and that a combination of students and administrators brought this change.
Matt Tranium, director of GW Housing Programs, was also involved in the revival of GW Reads. He wrote in an e-mail that bringing back the program was a joint goal of SASS and the SA.
Tranium said with the support of Chernak, Kroeger and SA President Nicole Capp, a junior, “the conversation . moved forward this summer from possibility to actuality.”
Kroeger said he and other SA leaders worked with a “very-willing” administration to bring the program back. The re-establishment of the program was part of his and Capp’s goals for the year, and also one of Kroeger’s campaign promises when he ran for SA EVP this past spring.
“The newly elected SA leadership identified the return of the GW Reads program as one of their top priorities,” Chernak said.