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Revised readership program arrives on College campus

Kelly Bale | Thursday, August 24, 2006

A revamped Saint Mary’s College Readership Program resumed Wednesday, providing students free copies of the New York Times, USA Today, the South Bend Tribune and the Chicago Tribune.

This year, however, the program has more funding and more features.

The program, which is completely funded by the Student Government Association, has increased in cost from $7,500 to $13,000 per year.

“The student government allotment this year increased by five dollars per student, which aided us in reallocating funds to make this project possible,” student body president Susan McIlduff said. “Also, we had underestimated the number of incoming freshmen this fall, which provided us with more student contributions to work with.”

McIlduff and vice president Maggie Siefert conceived changes to the program last spring and worked feverishly over the summer to make sure it would be ready this fall.

“The program was one of our biggest platform goals, so we’re glad we could accomplish it right away,” McIlduff said.

Perhaps the most noticeable change to the program is the installment of new locking newspaper receptacles that require the use of a student’s ID to gain access to the newspapers.

“The new distribution machines were given to the school by USA Today due to our membership with them,” McIlduff said.

McIlduff said she implemented the program as part of student government’s response to students’ strained access to the newspapers.

“There had been a problem in the past with faculty taking the papers before some students had a chance to get to them,” McIlduff said.

Siefert said she is confident the new receptacles will meet the students’ needs.

“We wanted the student body to be able to have access to current events to help with classes, as well as to become more informed with society,” Siefert said.

Funds were relocated to provide this service, McIlduff said. “We want the students to know we have their interests in mind.”

“So far today we’ve had a really positive response from Saint Mary’s women,” Siefert said.

Junior Carol Schaberg said she hopes “students take advantage of the program.”

“Having to use our student ID really directs the program to us and will hopefully let students realize that the papers are there for our benefit,” Schaberg said.

The newspapers will be available Monday through Friday at the Student Center, Madeleva Hall, Cushwa-Leighton Library and Le Mans Hall.