After being bombarded by the usual petitions, offers of free cake and request to support the GEO strike, I was finally able to grab my copy of The Michigan Daily and a surprise free copy of The New York Times. I love Will Shortz’s crossword puzzles, the dining and travel sections are amazing, and the rest of the paper is pretty great, so naturally I was pretty excited to practice my latte art and enjoy a good read.

So what gives? I noticed that there was a website where I could understand this new periodical pilot (msa.umich.edu/nyt) and learned that the Michigan Student Assembly is soliciting student input through the campus-wide vote today. In order to have daily copies of The Times, each student will have to pay an additional $4 per semester — that will be automatically added to your student invoice — which will allow the University to provide roughly 4,000 copies across campus. Today’s vote is NOT the deciding factor, but will be used to survey student reactions.

There is something about reading a paper, a physical newspaper, that’s such a great feeling. However, given that the Daily already distributes thousands of print editions, among which many are left unread, how can we ethically sign-off to print out 4,000 more newspapers — especially considering how much more paper is involved in The Times. The Times does a great job with their online edition, so why waste money and paper for a print edition?

I don’t think one in 10 of my friends read the Daily, so why would it make sense to have a newspaper available for one in 10 students? Yes, faculty and staff will be able to read The Times, but why not read it online like you and I are already doing? Not only would this be a financial waste, it would also be a huge waste of paper. What if the Daily were to use The Times puzzles and not The Los Angeles Times? We would save money, paper and get what we really want — a way to zone out of weeder class (read: intro stats, bio, psych and chem) lectures.

Avery Robinson
LSA junior

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