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Absence of Times not justified

By Katie Smith, Special to The Chronicle

With full awareness of how over-the-top this sounds, let me express this sentiment: Getting rid of the New York Times on campus is the dumbest decision Hofstra has ever made. Ever.

Ignore the seeming hyperbole of this statement and imagine yourself as me, an impressionable eighteen year-old from Northern California visiting Hofstra's campus for the first time. Yes, the flowers and statues were pretty, the dorms were nice enough and the school's dining options were overwhelming.

But without exaggeration, the first thing I did when my mom called to hear about my tour was to share my glee in that paper copies of the Times were scattered all over campus.   

Now, the familiar black and white pages detailing the news of the day are nowhere to be found. I know that most students don't share my frustration, or even haven't noticed the Times' absence on campus; replace the issue of missing New York Times with missing ‘Dutch' sandwiches, and you have the rallying cry of nearly every residential student from last week.

My purpose is not to criticize these students. My point is that it's a mistake for Hofstra to cater more towards these sentiments of late-night drunken dining than continue to promote the knowledge and awareness that having the Times available on campus symbolized.

This is not to say the University has stopped encouraging a sophisticated dialogue and exchangeof ideas among a well-educated student body, as there have been and continue to be innumerable events, panel discussions and lectures on a host of pressing topics in the world today.

However, it is paradoxical to promote these events as valuable while showing no regard for our ability to build the intellectual foundation having the Times readily accessible offered. Yes, the new Hofstra USA is much nicer than the darkened abyss of years past, but was spending millions of dollars on it instead of on our Times subscription really what Hofstra needs? Is this really the message the university wants to send?

I don't argue that a majority of students anticipated grabbing the paper on their way to class each day. But the greater implications of the University's elimination of the Times affect us all as students, not just the devoted readers (or devoted crossword solvers).

Hofstra can indulge in stylistic flourishes to both our dorms and our dining facilities along with substantive academic events featuring renowned speakers-these are not mutually exclusive visions. However, cutting the Times while elaborately remodeling certain facilities suggests the

University is placing unequal weight on the former. The hype surrounding these renovations will die down in a month, and aloof familiarity with our dining options will be restored. Here's to hoping Hofstra will restore our traditionally familiar source of news on campus as well.

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