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Thursday, June 13, 2024 — Houston, TX

Newspaper availability minimal on campus

By Anthony Lauriello     3/10/11 6:00pm

If you are reading this article, chances are you are pretty smart. While visiting a public party might point to the contrary, as Rice students, we are part of selective group of intelligent people. Just listen to the conversations around you, the casual musing about fluid dynamics or discussing the nuances of 19th Century feminist Chinese Literature. Yet, despite this genius and brilliance, many of us are woefully uneducated and ignorant of the world in which we live. Can you name three headlines from last week's national news? How about three congressmen, Supreme Court Justices or cabinet members? To some of you, these questions may be easy, but many Rice students can't even name the Secretary of Defense despite our country being at war. These do not just include the more science-based majors. I personally know an art history major who was surprised that there was an election last year.

I am sure many dispute this lack of knowledge as a problem. They ask why should we have to learn things unimportant to our profession, why should we learn things important to history and political science majors when they don't care to learn things about our majors? It's a valid point, but sadly for these majors, they are at Rice not only to grow and learn as professionals, but citizens as well. Brilliance and passion for individual subjects are part of what make Rice great, but when this devotion leads to myopic worldviews and students laboring without context, we have failed our school and in turn our school has failed us. The university must produce not only those who are on the forefront of their careers, but civic leaders as well. To do this, I challenge us as a community of Rice students to commit to reading a national or municipal newspaper for ten minutes every day.

Part of this challenge rests on the administration. Some of you may remember when the serverys had regular newspaper service, but after budget cuts the finical strain was put on the colleges and the newspapers disappeared. As the ALFA committee demonstrates, the school is certainly not in dire financial straits. Therefore I see no reason why the administration should not provide news from several reliable daily sources to its students. Preferably, the money would not come from the ALFA money but from the Dean's budget or the President's special fund. This would solidify thought-provoking ideas and information outside of the hedges not as a luxury but a necessity. Relatively speaking, the cost would be small and the benefits potentially enormous. It is time for Rice to fulfill its obligations as a liberal arts institution and provide newspapers to its students.

Yet, Rice providing newspapers will do nothing unless we as students reject apathy. We need newspapers in the Servery but most importantly, students must read them.

Anthony Lauriello is a Wiess College sophomore.

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