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USG makes free New York Times access available to students

By , University Affairs Editor  |  Sunday, April 21, 2013 9:26 PM
Infographic by Creative Designer Bailey Jordan

Infographic by Creative Designer Jess Root

St. Thomas students can now access The New York Times, and soon the Pioneer Press, for free using their St. Thomas email address.

Former Undergraduate Student Government President senior Mike Orth said USG has always allocated money to providing students with free access to news sources, most recently the Star Tribune copies distributed daily throughout campus.

However, Orth said with the surge in popularity of online news, along with St. Thomas’ efforts to go green, USG decided to purchase the rights to online newspapers instead of subscribing to paper copies.

“We moved away from the Star Tribune just because the price didn’t quite fit what we were looking for,” Orth said. “So we found a good system with The New York Times and Pioneer Press.”

Junior Emily Hughes said she thinks the Pioneer Press is a good choice for St. Thomas students, but that The New York Times might not be as popular.

“The New York Times … that’s not necessarily all relevant, or like, hometown news, it’s more worldwide,” Hughes said. “So I don’t know if they’re going to get that much of a turnout.”

Orth said USG provided copies of the Star Tribune every day for many years in the Murray-Herrick Center cafeteria, but the program “fell away” after the Anderson Student Center opened.

Hughes said she prefers the print newspaper copies.

“I much prefered the paper copy in the (cafeteria), because you could read while eating breakfast,” Hughes said.

Undergraduate students can now go to nytimes.com/passes, create an account with their St. Thomas email address and instantly gain free, full access to the site’s content from any location or network.

“I personally use it,” Orth said. “It works great, and it’s very simple and easy to log in. It’s fun to use.”

Senior Britni Mollner said she would use both news website and the free access is hard to pass up.

“I definitely would (use it),” Mollner said. “Newspapers these days are not cheap. The price of print is going up, so it would be nice to have access to it for free online.”

Hughes said she gets her news from her Twitter feed, and prefers that to looking at an online news website.

“Maybe (I would use it) for like papers and stuff if you need something new, like recent topics … but otherwise I don’t think (I would use it),” Hughes said. “It takes more time than just scrolling through Twitter.”

Students will need to re-log in every 24 hours because the New York Times only allows so many “passes,” or number of students who log in to the site, each day. Orth said that St. Thomas has somewhere between 200 and 400 passes for St. Thomas students to use each day.

A partnership with the Pioneer Press is still in the works, but Orth said student access to the local news source should be up and running in the near future.

Orth said the electronic access will now provide students with local and international news, no matter where they are.

“Now students don’t even have to be on campus,” Orth said. “I’m a commuter student so I can be at my apartment in the morning, and when I wake up, I can pull up the New York Times and read it.”

USG uses the money from student activity fees to pay for the access to the sites. Council members will review the agreements with both news sources each semester to determine whether or not they will renew the access.

“The great thing about having electronic system is that we can easily see how many students access it each day, who tends to access it and whether the program is successful,” Orth said.

The free access has not yet been advertised to students, but Orth said new USG council members will focus on marketing to students so they might take advantage of the access.

“With the new USG council coming in, that’s something they will be working on. There’s definitely going to be a lot of marketing around it,” Orth said. “We want students to use it, to take advantage of it, because if they don’t, this probably isn’t going to be something we’re going to keep.”

Gabrielle Martinson can be reached at mart5649@stthomas.edu.

This item was posted in Featured News, More News, News and has 6 comments so far.

6 Comments

  1. Dick Houck ’51
    Apr. 22, 2013 7:08 AM

    Just so everyone knows and is aware, the NY Times is the most liberal news source in the country, and I wouldn’t be surprised that their agenda doesn’t include indoctrinating young students in their liberal ideas and news coverage.

  2. Thomas Engrav
    Apr. 22, 2013 9:49 AM

    @Dick,

    Hahahahahahahhaahahhaa, best comment ever. Have you ever read the NYT? It’s a fantastic newspaper. 

  3. Luis Ortega
    Apr. 22, 2013 12:49 PM

    @Dick
    Consider it an idealogical counterbalance to the constant feeds of Fox “News Network” that is constantly aired on the flat-screen TVs in most of our buildings. If there were ever to be an agenda meant to indoctrinate anyone, this should be on your radar more than anything else.

  4. tj murphy
    Apr. 22, 2013 2:25 PM

    Local papers in the cafe were a nice treat. Don’t think even 50 passes will be used and most will be faculty/staff.

  5. jennifer volkman
    Apr. 23, 2013 10:13 AM

    They can track how many and who reads it? Can they track which articles are read too? Hmmm. I think UST needs to invest in marketing to increase recycling-read, reuse and recycle the Strib for starters. You can do better!

  6. Bianca Jones
    Apr. 23, 2013 7:16 PM

    Can’t you already access all of the PiPress’ articles online for free anyways?

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