Thanks to the efforts of the Student Government Association (SGA), the New York Times is back on campus. The student government not only gave their time and energy towards the reimplementation of the Times, but their own money as well. Along with the Office of the President, Residential Education, Dean of the College, Dean of the Faculty, the SGA has been able to successfully fund the price of the New York Times readership program.
The SGA realized that the student body was getting up in arms over its missing New York Times and therefore made it a priority to solve the problem. President of SGA senior Rob Sobelman wanted the resolution concerning the return of the New York Times to campus that the Senate had passed last week to truly have weight to it; he and the SGA worked on not only passing the resolution but applying it as well.
“In the past, a resolution has been a way to simply pass the problem on to someone else. The fact that this SGA backed their resolution with money and took the initiative with it is really refreshing and exciting to see,” said Dean of Residential Life and Assistant Dean of the College Jennifer Adams.
Surprisingly, Sobelman and the Speaker of the Senate junior David Kusnetz, the two members of the SGA who worked on finding funding for the New York Times, did not expect to have their resolution funded so quickly and easily based on their past experiences in the SGA.
“I’ve been a member of the SGA for four years, and in my previous three years I have never heard of a resolution that had any significant effect until now,” Sobelman said. “I can’t give enough thanks to the members of the administration who are helping us fund the Times for their willingness to talk and work with us.”
Sobelman and Kusnetz took a new and untested route in going about finding funding: they worked as a pair, presenting the executive and legislative branches of the student government in a united front to the administrators. They said that this conveyed to the University that they were serious about finding a solution to their problem.
Sobelman and Kusnetz went to different offices of the administration, presenting their proposal for bringing the New York Times back to campus and cautiously putting forth the question of funding. The two understood how much money $15,000 was — the amount the New York Times Readership Program costs — and knew that academic programs would take higher priority for money allocation.
The administrators they visited said they were not able to fund the program, but Sobelman and Kusnetz found out how much the offices would be willing to contribute and decided to make up the difference with money from the SGA’s own operating account.
When Sobelman and Kusnetz presented this arrangement and their plan to contribute money to the offices of the President, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of the College and Residential Education, the four agreed to supply the money to fund the New York Times readership program.
“We were able to find common ground with the people we were looking to help us,” Kusnetz said. “We were also able to form professional and strong relationships with three of the top administrators.”
Kusnetz said that this sends a message to the student body that their SGA is willing to go far above and beyond to deal with their concerns.
Sobelman and Kusnetz were ecstatic about the partnership they built with the administration as well as their success in bringing the Times back to Colgate and are confident that they will have much more success throughout the school year.
The New York Times will now be available to students in Frank Dining Hall and the O’Connor Campus Center. It will arrive every day around 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.
According to Adams, where the papers are placed and how many are placed there is flexible and she is willing the receive feedback about it.
“It is really pleasing to know that bringing The New York Times readership program to Colgate wasn’t a futile move,” Adams said. “The silver lining to having the paper taken away was that we realized how important it was to the students.”