Skidmore Reduces Number of New York Times Subscriptions
On Monday, March 6, New York Times will raise their prices per copy, which will lead Skidmore to reduce the number of its online and paper subscriptions from 250 to 175.
Skidmore has purchased 250 online academic passes, accompanied by 250 hard copies of the New York Times for over a decade now. The hard copies have been available all weekdays, strategically distributed across campus to better reach all students. There are currently five locations on campus (three in Case Center, one in the dining hall and one in the library) where students can easily pick up their free copy of the newspaper.
The locations’ readership performances are carefully evaluated before new locations or additional copies are added or removed. For instance, the library stand was added last year and has had a relatively better readership performance than the Williamson Sports Center stand, which was subsequently removed at the beginning of 2017.
Despite marketing efforts via social media and through professors of various departments, Skidmore students are not utilizing this service that is sponsored by SGA and paid for by the College. “I feel like I am the only one who ever picks up a copy,” said Effrosyni (Frini) Chantzi ’17. “It is as if people are systematically avoiding getting informed on things happening outside their Skidmore bubble,” she continued.
The Director of Leadership Activities, Robin Adams, acknowledged that the increase in price was the primary reason behind the College’s decision to reduce the number of subscriptions, but also noted that “walking through campus, one can see that there are generally a number of untouched copies.”
As aforementioned, however, the number of paper and online subscriptions will decrease simultaneously. Most students are unaware of the free online subscription and others find the process to be lengthy and tiresome. To access the academic passes, students must first create an account with their Skidmore emails and thereafter renew passes every 24 hours. This is because the College purchases 250 passes, so all students cannot access it at the same time. To extend the service to theoretically include every student, the New York Times requires pass renewal every 24 hours. In the case that no passes are available (a rare occurrence), students have to wait until a pass becomes available.
Since most students prefer digital services and the seemingly ambiguous and complex online procedure has proved to be ineffective in mobilizing students to utilize the free service, many also overlook the easy access to print services.
**The author of this article is the student sales representative for the New York Times.