IRHA to reconsider the newspaper readership program

Jill Pearson and Amber Billings

The Inter-Residence Hall Association will reconsider the Newspaper Readership Program at their meeting tonight.

Towers Residence Association President Tony Luken said Scott Kovach, TRA treasurer, will introduce a bill to reexamine the previous readership bill. Parliament members voted 21-0-1 on March 29 to approve the program which will allow USA Today, the Des Moines Register, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune to be placed in the residence halls every day. The meeting will be held tonight at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Room of the Memorial Union.

At last week’s meeting, David Kraemer, editor of the Ames Tribune, made a plea to parliament to reconsider the bill and include the Ames Tribune in the program.

“[Kraemer] contacted Scott and said he wanted to restate his case on why it should be included in the program,” Luken said.

David Boike, Union Drive Association at-large, co-authored the original bill and said he was surprised it was being brought up again.

“If he thinks that it merits parliament’s attention, then by all means we should discuss it again,” he said. “However, given how strong my constituents’ feelings about the issue were, I don’t think that the newspapers included in the readership program should change.”

No representatives from the Ames Tribune were present at the March 29 meeting, and Luken said IRHA had given them a chance to present their side.

“My position is that we voted on it once,” he said. “They had their shot. We’ll review it next year with different people.”

Kovach was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Parliament members will also be presented with a bill to ratify a storage policy agreement, said IRHA Vice President Steve Skutnik. He said the policy highlights the designated number of items residents are allowed to keep in storage closets.

Members will also vote on a bill to reform the IRHA elections and to help send IRHA representatives to the National Affiliate of College & University Residence Halls.