MSA readership program hopes to add magazine

MSA decided to provide magazines after discovering a $12,000 surplus.
Megan Stroup / Graphic Designer

Students might be able to pick up a Time, Newsweek or National Geographic magazine for free at various areas on campus in the fall as part of the Missouri Students Association and Graduate Professional Council readership program.

Ryan Senciboy, MSA Department of Student Services director, presented a resolution to the MSA Senate on Wednesday to put together a pilot program for the fall semester. The pilot program would provide one of the magazines to students.

"We decided we didn't need another newspaper since we already have four of them, so we went online and looked at the top publications in consumption," Senciboy said. "We took the top four magazines and put them on a survey for students to see which one they would rather have access to."

MSA placed survey slips on USA Today newspaper stands earlier in the week, but Senciboy said they only received 80 responses because the fliers and survey slips were taken from the stands the next day.

Thirty percent of respondents wanted The Wall Street Journal, 25 percent wanted Time magazine, 18.75 percent wanted Newsweek and 18.75 percent wanted National Geographic Magazine.

"We first went to The Wall Street Journal, but they weren't willing to partner with us so we're going to move on and talk to the next most wanted magazine by students," Senciboy said.

MSA President Jordan Paul said the organization would be able to add a magazine to the readership program due to a $12,000 carryover.

"The increased enrollment of freshmen this year gave us this carryover," Paul said. "Rather than not spending that money and having it go to the Student Life Department, we decided to spend it on something we felt would directly benefit students."

Senciboy said the magazine wouldn't be available everywhere the MSA/GPC readership program's newspapers are available.

"Newspapers are better for picking up while you're on the go and reading throughout the day, whereas magazines are only really useful when you have some time to read through them," Senciboy said. "Keeping that in mind, we decided we'd put the magazine we select in some lounge areas around campus, such as in Memorial Union."

MSA Senator Phyllis Williams said providing different magazines in various areas on campus would appeal to certain groups of students.

"I'd definitely be in support of adding a magazine or, possibly several magazines, to the newspapers we already have on campus," Williams said. "For example, we could provide the hotel and restaurant management majors in Eckles Hall with home and garden magazines or we could put Popular Science in the engineering buildings."

Senciboy said contacting the magazines has not been an easy process so far, but he hopes to work out a deal with one over the summer.

"We tried to contact someone from The Wall Street Journal for two months so it's not easy to get a hold of these guys," Senciboy said. "We'll try to get this set up before the fall so it's ready for students as soon as they get back."

Senciboy said MSA might look into providing a second magazine after securing a deal for the first one.

"$12,000 is a lot of money and I doubt one magazine will take up all of that," Senciboy said. "So, perhaps after we get done with this we can look at more options next semester."

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