Following the success of last semester’s trial, Undergraduate Student Government and The New York Times will work together once again to provide free copies of the newspaper to students.
The university will receive 3,000 copies a day for 40 delivery days starting Monday. The papers will be delivered Monday through Friday and distributed at various sites around campus.
Unique to this trial, the readership program will also include a digital “Group Pass” for students, allowing 300 users to obtain 24-hour unlimited access to nytimes.com, the NYTimes smartphone application and the NYTimes Election 2012 application.
After assessing the popularity of the program last semester, The New York Times and USG have decided to fund the second trial together, USG Academic Director Andres Guarnizo said.
“Evaluating the performance last semester, it did really well,” Guarnizo said. “There wasn’t a day where the papers weren’t flying off of the stands, so [USG] met again with The New York Times, and they offered us a deal where they would pay for half of the trial.”
The trial will help USG assess the costs and benefits of the program, USG Vice President Vinnie Prasad said.
“Having The New York Times paper on campus is an overall USC improvement we want to make in terms of making the world media accessible to students on a daily basis,” Prasad said. “It’s just a question of how much does it cost, what’s the benefit, and does the value of the program make sense based on its cost.”
The goal of the program is to have administrators see the value of having the newspapers on campus and ultimately to fund the program, Guarnizo said.
“This semester, the goal is more specific as far as talking to administrators about this program and getting funding for that,” Guarnizo said. “Keeping [the program] one more semester would open up the possibility to talk to deans of schools and administration within USC to see if it’s something they can fund going forward.”
Diana Chung, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, said The New York Times is worth the cost in order to encourage students to become more aware.
“The New York Times is one of the best sources for world and national news,” Chung said. “Sometimes at USC or any college, students live in a bubble and are unaware, but being at an higher education institution, USC should provide the means for us to have access to what’s going on outside of campus.”
If the university is able to provide more newspapers on campus, it might enable students to become more involved in world events, said Karthik Vasan, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences and popular music studies.
“People don’t give our age group enough credit for being involved and interested in what’s going on,” Vasan said. “We want to be, but we aren’t given the opportunity to do it. If there are more The New York Times on campus, even if it’s in print and a bit old school, I’m sure people would read it. It would make us more informed, and it would definitely be useful.”