Last week, The Pointer was successful in its Sustainability Reserve request, approved by a vote of 21-3 in the Student Government, to provide an iPad for every student in order to save paper.
Starting in the coming Fall semester, students will pay an extra $350 total, spread throughout their six years at UWSP, for this shift to iPad-based, digital distribution of the campus newspaper. It is estimated that this move will save invaluable paper for UWSP’s student populace of voracious Pointer readers.
Last semester, SGA approved a Sustainability Fund request to provide iPads to two members of the organization, President Ryan Rutledge and Vice President Liz Westberg. Around this time, The Pointer decided to propose its own sustainability initiative to the Segregated University Fee Allocations Committee (SUFAC).
"We heard the SGA iPads were a ‘sustainable initiative’ because Ryan and Liz wanted to save paper," said Adam Malooly, Ad Manager for The Pointer.
"So we were like, ‘We use a bunch of paper. Why don’t we provide the UWSP student body with an iPad, just like SGA did?’ Then I took a spiritual journey throughout campus, talking to everyone I saw, and they all agreed. Pretty soon, we got our request approved."
"To be sure, it could be argued that all the paper SGA uses in a year is not worth the unsustainable process used to manufacture two iPads (which are made from conflict minerals extracted untraceably throughout Africa, assembled by slave laborers in China and finally transported for mass consumption to all corners of the world on oil-intensive mega-tankers)," wrote Editor-in-Chief Aaron Osowski in The Pointer ’s request to the Sustainability Committee and the SUFAC.
"However, all the paper used to print The Pointer, which distributes 2,200 copies throughout the campus community, is a far greater cost to the world’s forests," wrote Osowski in his justification for the $350 per student increase in segregated fees. "And you can’t deny it, this might encourage students to read it every once in a while."
Samuel Dvorak, whose Sustainability Committee approved the earlier request for only the two iPads for the Student Government, said that was probably true, and "The funds request does make more sense if, instead of only saving paper for two people who use their iPads as dinner trays, we were saving all the paper used to print the newspaper."
The proposal was met with some criticism at the meeting, mainly from several members of the local Students for a Democratic Society branch. These students expressed dissent to SGA’s decision, stating "This is unjust, because many students already own iPads."
The vote was originally tallied with two times more No’s than Aye’s, roughly by a 2:1 margin; luckily for The Pointer, the staff of whom anticipated the decision with furor and excitement, Vice President Liz Westberg counted all of the "Maybe" votes as Ayes.
"We got majority support," Rutledge said in an interview to the Stevens Point Journal soon after the meeting.
Everybody celebrated the night as a victory for democracy, including members of WWSP 90 FM, who are always incidentally around, looking very cool.
The Pointer ’s spokesperson, Kaitlyn Luckow, said, "Hey, SGA did it first. Besides, they voted to raise tuition by $648 annually last semester--we were just asking for roughly $60 annually for their iPads, including the cost of the iPointer app."
Looking at the ceiling, Layout Editor Amanda Hays said she will be designing the app today, although she only has four hours to do it.
Centertainment has announced it will look into a proposal to provide entertainment directly to the student body this semester. "We are also interested in this ‘sustainability’ business," the organization posted on