UNK Student Government Brings ‘Collegiate Readership Program’ To Campus Beginning Monday, Feb. 4

Brandon Benitz
assistant to the dean of Student Life, 308.865.1619

On Monday, a pilot program will bring University of Nebraska at Kearney students news about the nation and the world, as published by three major newspapers.

       The UNK Student Government has partnered with USA TODAY Education to conduct a pilot of the Collegiate Readership Program. The trial program will conclude on Friday, Feb. 29.
       During the four-week trial, copies of “USA TODAY,” “The New York Times” and “The Omaha World-Herald” will be available at no charge to UNK students at eight different campus locations, including: Calvin T. Ryan Library, inside the main entrance; College of Education, east entrance; Fine Arts Building, entrance to the Fine Arts Recital Hall; Health and Sports Center, along Main Street; Nebraskan Student Union, Atrium; URN, cafeteria; URS, cafeteria; and West Center, inside the northeast entrance.
       “USA TODAY” will deliver all publications to the eight campus locations each morning, Monday – Friday, during the trial.  Recycling bins will be placed at all newspaper displays throughout the trial program, so that used and unused newspapers may be collected and recycled.  
       According to Brandon Benitz, UNK assistant to the dean of Student Life, at the conclusion of the trial program, the UNK Student Government will review the usage data and student feedback then UNK students will vote to determine whether implementing a fully funded Readership Program in 2008-2009 would benefit the campus.
       Student readership will be monitored throughout the trial program, and students will be surveyed at the beginning and end of the trial program to determine its effectiveness and impact on campus, Benitz said.  
       Amber Lewis, the UNK Student Body President/Student Regent, said: “The UNK Student Government is launching this initiative to promote civic engagement on campus and broaden students’ awareness of current issues through newspaper readership.”
       Benitz added: “The goal of the readership program is to engage college students in active learning inside and outside the classroom by increasing their knowledge of local, national, and international events.”
       The Collegiate Readership Program, managed by USA TODAY, brings a diverse assortment of newspapers to campuses across the nation and is enhanced by the Collegiate Academic website, www.usatodaycollege.com.  Since its inception in 1997 at Penn State University, student use and interest in the Collegiate Readership Program has grown rapidly. Currently, nearly 500 campuses across the country have implemented student readership programs including Creighton University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, University of Nebraska at Lincoln and University of Nebraska at Omaha.