SGB to provide racks for student publications

By Emily Ahlin / Staff Writers

The Student Government Board will soon begin racking up student publications at Pitt.

Student publication groups, including The Pittiful News and The Original Magazine, will soon be able to display and distribute their wares on publication racks for the first time, according to Student Government Board President Graeme Meyer. Meyer and former Board member Ben West have been working since last October, Meyer said, to purchase and install publication racks for student publications including The Pittiful News, Pitt’s student-run satirical newspaper, and The Original Magazine, a student-run arts and culture magazine. Meyer is finishing the project alone, he said, and will complete it by the end of February.

The Pittiful News, established in 2009, has distributed its printed publication by hand as a group since late 2011, according to Editor-in-Chief Steven Boyd. 

“It’s a fun event because we get to talk to more students and expand our readership in a more personal way, but it is too unprofessional,” Boyd said in an email. “For the amount of work that goes into each issue in pitching, writing, editing and forming layouts, I think our staff could have a way to put up their work that reflects our professionalism.”

The Original Magazine, established in 2006, has distributed its magazine in a similar manner, according to Editor-in-Chief Karley Snyder, through events and tabling in the lobby of Litchfield Towers.

“These methods are not sufficient,” Snyder said in an email. “I just want people to be able to enjoy the publication my staff and I have worked so hard on.”

To pay for the publication racks, Meyer said SGB modified its budget for the one-time fee of $1,486.70 to pay for 10 publication racks to arrive in high-traffic areas around campus, including the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning. 

Because most student publications are not published daily, Meyer said, they will share the publication racks. 

“For instance, if a publication is released on Tuesday, they might be told they may leave their publication on the top shelf for three days, and then must remove it for the next publication,” Meyer said in an email. “That being said, this all depends on the publication schedules for each individual publication.”

Student publications can apply for rack space on SGB’s website by visiting the Student Publication Racks page, Meyer said, which is located under both the Student Services and For Student Groups tabs on the website’s menu. 

The SGB chief of staff will review the applications and allocate space to each publication.  Meyer said he will appoint a chief of staff next week.

Snyder said The Original Magazine has worked to get publication racks for a long time, and the incoming installation sets off a string of positive events for the magazine.

“With more people reading, we can advertise more, we can promote more, we can throw more events and we can increase magazine contributors,” Snyder said. 

The Pittiful News staff doesn’t feel “entitled to [their] own publication racks,” Boyd said, though they’re “a huge step forward.”

“We always just thought this student publication rack project was a gesture from the University saying that it respects the creative work of its undergraduates,” Boyd said. “It’d be a shame for our many on-campus writers, even outside of Pittiful, if something this small doesn’t pass through.”