Recent budget cuts in the Office of Campus Life, which previously covered the College’s New York Times subscription and delivery costs, have led the office to cease daily delivery of the newspaper to campus.
Delivering the Times to various locations around campus costs approximately $5000 per year. Reducing the number of papers delivered would not reduce total costs due to the nature of the College’s contract with the Times.
According to College Council (CC) co-presidents Emanuel Yekutiel ’11 and Ifiok Inyang ’11, Campus Life and CC have been engaged in an ongoing discussion regarding the costs of delivering the Times to campus since last year. Former CC Treasurer Rachel Hudson ’10 previously served as the key CC member in these discussions.
After recent budget cuts, Campus Life made the decision to no longer include hard-copy subscriptions to the Times in its budget but remained committed to trying to keep the tradition alive on campus.
“Due to the College’s financial constraints over the past couple of years, it was necessary to make cuts to the Campus Life departmental budgets, just like other offices across campus,” said Doug Schiazza, director of Campus Life.
He added, “I chose to eliminate the Campus Life budget line for the Times program mostly out of budgetary prioritization, though other considerations like sustainability, waste, building tidiness [and] the paper’s content being free online … also factored into it.”
Campus Life first approached CC about paying for all or part of the College’s subscription last spring: According to Schiazza, CC expressed interest in continuing delivery of the Times to campus, resulting in Campus Life agreeing to pay $2500 starting this past fall. That amount represents approximately half of the annual cost of the College’s Times subscription.
After the initial $2500 from Campus Life was depleted, the expectation was that CC would continue funding the program.
This was not the case – although CC has decided to pay for the Times to be delivered to a few campus locations throughout the remainder of Winter Study, CC, according to Yekutiel and Inyang, will not be adding the funding of hard copies of the paper to its budget at this time.
“If students feel strongly about this, please let us know through email” said Yekutiel.
“CC was never responsible for paying for [The New York Times],” Yekutiel clarified. “We did not cut The New York Times, plain and simple.”
Despite the expenses involved in continuing to have hard copies distributed across campus and the fact that the Times posts much of its content online, many students argue that having the print edition of the Times is valuable.
Lizzy Chan ’12 claims that a perceived lack of student interest in the paper is really just due to a lack of available information: “Many students just don’t even know where to find The New York Times,” she said.
Nonetheless, other students see online newspapers as both more efficient and more attractive to the student body.
“I think the average student would be more inclined to read the newspaper if it were readily available via the Internet, which students use more to search for something in particular,” Emily Baratta ’14 said.
Additional reporting by Emily Dugale, news editor, and Carmen Linero, contributing writer.