This just in
Student newspapers not welcome at UT's new journalism building
UPDATE: JimRomenesko.com is now reporting that UT has tasked its architects with designing "appropriate boxes" for newspapers. Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communications, said there was never an intention to "ban" the boxes.
While the decline of traditional print media is well documented (enter: CultureMap), one would think a reliable ally on the side of paper and ink would be UT's College of Communications. Think again.
In an article in today's Daily Texan, writer Bobby Blanchard reports that the Belo Center for New Media, which houses the School of Journalism, will not offer outside newsstands. In fact, they are specifically forbidden as part of the center's efforts to be silver LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The need for LEED is apparently greater than the need to read.
The university's argument against the news boxes, as Blanchard articulates it, is that the presence of Daily Texans increases the likelihood that "litter, clutter and debris could gather around the building." You know what else increases that likelihood? Students.
Why are they being allowed to scamper freely about the Belo Center for New Media? The presence of free-willed humans with a proclivity to consumption poses a much greater risk to the environment surrounding the center than a metal stand containing recyclable paper.
If the Belo Center is really committed to environmental protection, it should ban students from the building as well as news boxes.