Students will now have access to The New York Times online in the spring 2013 semester. The plan to roll the electronic version has been in the works ever since the start of the fall semester, and the College plans to release an official statement at a later time with more details about the subscription.
One environmentally conscious junior is very pleased by the move.
Cecilia Louie, an adult student, contacted Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs Patrick Chang with the idea after visiting campus during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and noticing newspapers that were delivered but left untouched due to the school and library being closed.
"A sustainable light bulb went off in my head," said Louie. "All the newspapers were left untouched while students were scrambling for access to finish their research projects."
Chang said, however, in the past, untouched newspapers have been collected by the vendor, recycled and credited to the College's account.
Louie sent an email inquiry to Chang about whether such an initiative would be considered, and he said he informed her that such plans were already in the works for the start of spring 2013 "New York Times Newspaper Readership program that is funded and coordinated by the Office of Residence Life will be adding full complementary access to NYTimes.com on any electronic device beginning in spring 2013," said Chang.
Louie thinks the project will also enable commuters to use the daily paper for research and help reduce paper waste.
"This program supplements the current service of providing complementary hard copies of The Times, Bergen Record and Star Ledger in all residence halls, the Berrie Center, Anisfield School of Business, Student Center and Fishbowl Monday through Friday and weekend copies of The Record and Times in the Birch Tree Inn," Chang added.
Louie said gaining access to The Times will be especially helpful for adult learners, who typically are not on campus except for class time. As a single mother of three, Louie works full time while studying to complete her degree in sociology and knows very well the challenges of her goals.
"I am putting myself out there hoping to make it easier for adults," said Louie. "Working with Student Affairs, I plan to bring more opportunities for adults to succeed at getting their degree at Ramapo."
As an alternative to online access or paper copies of The Times, Chang said the Potter library currently offers state-by-state electronic full-text access to all the major papers in the United States including the NY Times and NJ papers through the Proquest news database.
The College plans to release an official statement at a later time with more details about the expanded access afforded by the subscription.
Editor's Note (12/8/12): This article has been edited to clarify that The Times online access has been in the works since the beginning of the semester, that paper newspaper copies are recycled if not used, and that the library offers free newspaper subscriptions to students via Proquest.