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Changes take root in Ferris' Readership Program

This year there have been some changes to the student Readership Program at Ferris, namely in its accessibility.

Most students’ mornings consist of things like crawling out of bed, brushing their teeth, maybe putting pants on and then wandering out into the world for food and higher education. For some of those students though, an important part of that morning routine is stopping and picking up a newspaper to read about what is happening in the world.

One of the changes to the process of discovering news on campus includes a new newsstand in the University Center.

“We never really knew how many students got their newspapers from the newsstands, but we did know that the newsstands were popular,” said Ferris accounting senior and Readership Program director Ben Brackett. “So we implemented the Swipe ID process in order to gain a better understanding of how many students are benefiting from the newsstands.”

As for the future of print paper distribution on campus, there have been a number of requests that the stands be moved to various locations around Ferris, rather than just the University Center. In response to those requests there are tentative plans to place newsstands in a number of other places around campus, including the Pharmacy building and the College of Business, coming this spring semester.

Another way the Readership Program is branching out is through a USA Today mobile app called “The Buzz: Ferris State University.”

“The Buzz provides students with national, world and campus news in one easy-to-use mobile interface,” said Brackett.

The app features a variety of different levels of news. From USA Today there are latest news, life and sports headlines. From USA Today College, there are stories on College Life, Study Abroad and Careers, written by college students for college students. In addition to those, the latest Ferris State University campus reporting from the Torch is on the app as well.

According to Brackett, the hope is that the Buzz app will increase readership among those students that consume the majority of their news through their smartphones.

The Readership Program’s newsstand is located across from the University Center Starbucks and features the Big Rapids Pioneer, USA Today, The New York Times and the Torch.