SGB approves Readership Program

By Marissa Meredyth

SGB approved $30,500 for the Collegiate Readership Program last night, despite recommendations… SGB approved $30,500 for the Collegiate Readership Program last night, despite recommendations from the Board’s allocation committee to deny the request in full.

The program — scheduled to begin in January — will bring 300 printed copies of both the New York Times and USA Today to campus each day. Free Times Reader and USA Today Reader access for all students will also be available for students next year.

Earlier this year, SGB President Charlie Shull could not convince the Pitt Program Council to split some of the cost for the Readership Program, which caused him to doubt that the program could be arranged.

“This is something we have been talking about since March, but thought was dead in the water,” Shull said.

Kyle Miller, executive director for PPC, attended and showed his personal support for the program.

“While it is beyond the scope for PPC to pay for such a program, I fully support it,” Miller said.

Other Board members also spoke in support. Board member Molly Stieber said the fact that the program will offer online access to The New York Times makes the relatively high cost worthwhile. Originally, some Board members voiced concern that the number of copies included in the program would only benefit a small percentage of students.

Zachary Bombatch said he originally opposed the idea of having two “extremely liberal publications” available on campus. After speaking with the College Republicans — who voiced support for the program — and thinking about it further, he said he realized the news portion will be a great resource.

“All will utilize it,” Bombatch said. “Therefore, I support it in full.”

With no Board members in opposition, students can expect to see the program implemented starting next semester.

At the end of the meeting, John Hasley and Kieran O’Leary were formally inducted to serve as interim Board members for the rest of the term. The Board selected the two after a special election held last week. Hasley and O’Leary did not participate as Board members during the meeting.

Allocation Notes:

Engineering World Health Organization requested $800.48 for an ongoing project. It received $300.48 and was denied $500.

Panther Grappling Club was allotted the $808.29 it requested for competitions.

Pitt Women’s Club Volleyball requested $1,054 for an away tournament. It received $798.70, and was denied $255.30 for errors in transportation cost.

Students for Justice in Palestine was allotted the $2,524.42 it requested for a comedy event.

Society of Women Engineers requested $3,986 for eight girls to attend a four-day conference. The request was sent back to the allocation committee for a second evaluation.

SGB was allotted the $30,500 they requested for the Collegiate Readership Program.

This article originally stated that the proposal would include free online access to the The New York Times and USA Today.  The proposal will actually provide free access to the Times Reader and the forthcoming USA Today Reader, not traditional online access. The Pitt News regrets the error.