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Print media readership increases under CRP

Though many have suggested that the availability of free news on the web has made print media a tired anachronism, the demand for printed newspapers on the Carnegie Mellon campus suggests that printed and online news are not necessarily substitutes for one another. Supplying this demand by providing paper copies of newspapers on campus is the frequently taken-for-granted Collegiate Readership Program.

The Collegiate Readership Program (CRP), sponsored by Student Senate and paid for a by a small fee built into tuition, has kept printed papers free and accessible on campus (in the red boxes, like in the UC). Though in the past there has been some controversy over the effectiveness of the program, recent data suggests that print paper readership is up. USA Today, featured alongside The New York Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has had to increase its circulation in the paper dispensers by the thousands over the past year to keep up with demand under the CRP.

Student Senate’s sponsorship of the CRP has, in addition to meeting student and faculty demand for papers, also afforded Carnegie Mellon the opportunity to host a number of lectures that are only available to schools with the CRP. For example, Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, will lecture on Dec. 10 and be interviewed by USA Today writers. Though the lecture is jointly sponsored by the Tepper School of Business, Student Senate, and USA Today, this school’s CRP sponsorship was a key determinant in USA Today’s decision to support the event.

The CRP is an excellent service from the Student Senate that is truly more than meets the eye. Not only does it provide easy access to local, national, and international news to the work-crazed students at Carnegie Mellon, but the CRP gives the entire community the opportunity to attend lectures by highly relevant speakers and engage in a conversation on timely issues.