Remember The New York Times? Of course you do. As participants in global politics, The Times is a basic resource available for us to live out our responsibility to be informed citizens of the world.
But maybe I should change my wording, because at Seattle University The New York Times is not available. Many students remember when copies of The New York Times could be found at the news stands around campus: in the Pigott Atrium, outside the Byte, or in Cherry Street, to name a few spots. Not long ago, fresh stacks of The Times were made available to students and professors alike every weekday morning.
Believe me, these copies were well read. They were re-folded, shared and always gone by 10 a.m. Most importantly, these copies sparked conversations. They grounded our theoretical discussions in the context current affairs.
Sadly, Seattle U has discontinued our subscription and since then I have wondered how all of us are staying informed. I’m willing to wager that none of us students can afford a paper subscription and that most of us go online instead. However, only a mere 10 articles can be accessed online for free. This biased selection of 10 articles from a month’s worth of current affairs is nowhere near sufficient. Our constricted access to information on current events imperils the education of our students, the effectiveness of our professors, and the dignity of our education. What value could an education have when it is divorced from contemporary context?
I must ask how Seattle University can justify its claim to be educating “leaders of a more just and humane world,” when these “leaders” lack basic access to current information on global affairs. There’s no shortage of funding for giant Redhawk balloons, custom-decal athletic RVs, or Segway convoys to patrol the grounds. At an institution that claims to be academic, should a newspaper really be too much to ask for?
Seattle University student