Bobcat Readership Program Huge Success
The trial period for the Bobcat Readership Program lasted four weeks and the results from surveys issued by Student Senate were tremendously impressing in the eyes of the Ian Dryburgh, Regional Marketing Manager for USA Today.
“Out of the 200 students that took the time to fill out our survey, 99 percent said they would like to see the program continued,” said Dryburgh. “The results that we received from this trial were better than any university we have seen so far.”
In the first two weeks alone, over 7,000 newspapers were picked up and in total, over 16,000 papers were consumed.
“Students have told us that the main reason they were so inclined to pick up a newspaper was because of the on-campus availability,” said New York Times representative Kan Dace. “One great thing that the trial run told us was what spots on campus are most convenient for students to grab a newspaper.”
Newspaper stands were set up in Alden Library, Baker Center and in all four dining halls. Not surprisingly, the most popular location out of these six was Baker Center with just under 50 percent of total consumption.
Considering the great success of the trial run, Student Senate members were anxious to offer their opinions on additional places to set up stands in the future. Most thought it necessary to place stands in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and Copland Hall.
“To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised by the results of this trial run,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Kent Smith. “I honestly doubted the success of the program from the start. I am glad that our students have proven me wrong.”
Although Student Senate is celebrating now, they know that they have a lot of work ahead of them if they are going to make this program permanent. To start things off, they have to implement a budget system that will pay for the papers. Dryburgh estimated the price to be just over $65,000 a year and recommended the best way to get this money was to add on $3 to every student’s bill.
With only $3 per year being the required payment for students, Dryburgh saw this as being pleasing to most students considering that 60 percent of the students who took the survey said that they would pay between five and 20 dollars a year for this service.
Along with the benefit of supplying students with two of the biggest newspapers, the representatives that were at the meeting also suggested other popular benefit if they were to partner with Ohio University.
“Since Ohio University is greatly known for its journalism school, I feel that it would be great to have some of our top journalists visit and to have lectures and sit in on classes,” continued Dryburgh.
Dryburgh also suggested having more student journalist’s work for the USA Today Collegiate Correspondence program, which involves OU students writing articles that will be published in their paper. Currently, only one student, Ryan Joseph, is involved in this program.
With the huge success from this trial run, you can guarantee seeing this program come back to life some time during next school year.