AU commuter students now have an opportunity to receive the same discounted newspapers that are provided for residence hall students.
“For $20 per semester, commuter students can receive USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post, just like on-campus residents,” said Julie Weber, executive director of Housing and Dining Programs.
Derek Henkle, a 23-year-old transfer student from San Francisco, was the mastermind behind the project. When he visited AU last year, he stayed overnight in the residence halls and noticed the newspapers available only to residence hall students.
“I know AU has a commitment to have resources readily available, but when I got here it was a hassle to get papers,” Henkle said. “With the security threats last semester, it was virtually impossible to get papers, making it problematic for commuters like myself.”
Henkle decided to go to Weber to create a discount newspaper program for commuters.
“I met with Housing and Dining last semester to get the program going,” Henkle said.
Weber called the USA Today Readership Program to discuss the idea.
“Anything that gets students to read rather than watch TV is great,” she said.
The program has provided newspapers to residence hall students for the past three years.
“In many SOC classes newspapers are required reading, therefore saving students hundreds of dollars per year on newspaper subscriptions that are used in classes,” said Henkle.
Currently, commuter students will have to go to Anderson Hall and request that the fee be taken from their EagleBuck$ account. However, if 50 students sign up for the program, USA Today will put a newspaper machine in the Cyber Caf? in the Mary Graydon Center, according to Henkle.
“Commuter students will be able to access the machine in the Cyber Caf? by swiping their ID card,” Weber said. “The machine is very expensive, so we will have to wait until the right amount of students sign up for the program.”
The box will be in the honors system, so responsibility is appropriate, Henkle said.
“I am absolutely satisfied with the final results,” Henkle said. “The ability of one student to see something that doesn’t seem right, and to take that and address it makes students take an active role in our campus. Young people don’t really realize the amount of power that we have as students.”
Some commuters feel the idea may not be the best for them.
“Although it’s a nice idea, it’s not the most practical solution for commuters,” sophomore Caitlin Vinson said.
“I don’t agree with the idea, because it is so much easier for me to grab the papers in the residence halls rather than pay $40 per year,” senior Maura O’Brien said.
Other commuter students seem very enthusiastic about the idea.
“As graduate students, we feel that this idea is perfect for us,” graduate student Meredith Sisa said.
Graduate student Katie Torrington agrees. She said that she loved the idea, especially since the papers are three of the most famous in the country.
“For $20 per semester, I love the idea,” senior commuter Sara Auchincloss said. “I would use the program as soon as it becomes available.”