After two weeks of deliberation and student polls, Student Council voted on Monday, Oct. 28 to keep the College’s physical subscription to The New York Times, rather than replacing it with a digital one.
A poll conducted by Student Council with the Budget and Finance Committee received widespread support for print newspapers, while a general student poll sent out in an all-student email received 165 responses: 63.6 percent voted in favor of print, while 35.8 percent voted in favor of a digital subscription.
The proposal was initially brought up on Sept. 18, when a representative from The New York Times approached Associate Director of Student Engagement Kim Wallace and suggested that switching to a digital subscription would be more cost-effective for the College.
“The [physical] subscription is $12,000 per year,” Sophomore Class President Skyler Lesser-Roy ‘22 said. “Even if we sell back unused copies, it still ends up being $12,000. But a digital subscription would be $6,000 per year.”
Despite the cost, Lesser-Roy believes students still benefit from having the physical newspapers in Peirce Dining Hall.
“I often see kids on New Side and Old Side grabbing a paper, and actually reading the articles, and being interested, and being connected to world news,” Lesser-Roy said. “Having the physical medium right when you walk into Peirce is like, ‘Oh, I should still be informed.’ I think it’s important to keep it.”
However, some students have supported a digital subscription.
“It’s probably more sensible to get a digital subscription because it’s more flexible,” said Hayden Toftner ’22. “You wouldn’t have to come to Peirce necessarily to get it. Overall, I think it’s a better plan to switch, especially since it’ll save costs and be more flexible.”
Going digital would have also meant losing the New York Times crossword.
“People would have to figure out how to do it otherwise,” Lesser-Roy said. “Some arguments I’ve heard are that parents probably have a subscription … I understand, but just assuming that people can deal with it because they’re wealthy enough is not where the College should be heading … I think we should look to cut costs in other areas where funds are being mismanaged.”