LUCC discusses campus newspaper distribution program

Brian Zaander

The main topic of discussion during the first LUCC meeting of the year regarded the decision of whether or not to continue the newspaper distribution program. During the middle of third term last year, LUCC decided to partake in a trial period of the paper distribution program. Since that decision was made, Lawrence students have been receiving free newspapers. Now that this trial period ended, LUCC had to consider current monetary resources as well as overall student support for the program before voting on the continuation of this program. It was announced at the beginning of the meeting that LUCC currently has approximately $70,398 of funding. This figure does not include allocations that were granted at the end of last year to be used this year. The projected cost of running the newspaper program is around $15,145 per year. It is impossible to determine the exact cost of running the program because the bill only reflects the amount of papers that are taken each day.

LUCC also devoted some attention to the issue of getting papers distributed to the fraternities and small houses. The problem with distributing papers to these locations is that there is a limit to the amount of paper stations that can be set up. The current paper stations are located in, and will remain in, all of the larger dormitories, which include: Ormsby, Colman, Trevor, Kohler, and Sage. The only way to get newspapers delivered to small houses and fraternities is to make a drop off of a set amount of papers. The papers made in these drops cannot be returned if they are not used, which could drive the cost of the newspaper program beyond reasonable levels. This means that the only way fraternity and small house members can obtain a newspaper is to claim one from a main dormitory on campus.

Many other locations, such as the Union and Downer Cafeteria, were considered for paper stations, but they were ruled out because of the fear that people other then Lawrence students would take papers.

In an attempt to drive the overall cost of the paper program down, LUCC considered the idea of dropping one of the four papers currently offered. According to a survey of the Lawrence campus, the least-read paper was the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The idea of dropping a title currently offered was disregarded after it was shown that it could in fact lead to a higher end of the year cost. Because Lawrence only pays for newspapers taken, getting rid of one the newspaper titles could drive students to read a paper that is more expensive. Since the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is actually one of the less expensive papers offered, it will continue being supplied to students.

After much discussion, LUCC voted to continue the newspaper distribution program with a ceiling cost of $18,000. Lawrence students will continue to be supplied with papers until the cost reaches this level.