So last semester, I transferred to Mercy College from WCC. One of the first items on my list was to find the college newspaper. I wrote for my high school paper, so I wanted to check out The Impact.
If I could only find it.
Where was it? Is this a joke?
At WCC, The Viking was everywhere, as it should have been.
College newspapers should be readily distributed everywhere on campus: in the library, in the cafeteria, in the bookstore and in the halls. We as students should demand that we know exactly what is going on in our schools. The college is becoming up-to-date and modern, but at the same time, should carry on its honored traditions.
It’s true, sometimes The Impact will criticize the college. And other times it will praise it. Regardless, The Impact’s goal is to simply address all concerns on campus, positive or negative, and make students aware of them. That is how change occurs and our college can become even better than it is today.
And if I was running a school, the last thing I’d like to do was irritate the college newspaper staff.
This issue is nothing new for The Impact. A few years ago, newspaper stands were readily available throughout the Dobbs Ferry campus, loaded with the current college newspaper, plus previous editions. There was a newspaper stand in the dorms and a newspaper stand in the library. The location that received the most traffic was near the Hudson View Café. Like most people, students like to read while they eat.
For a reason never explained to the previous staff, the newspaper stands were discarded over a session break. Also discarded were the newspapers that were in the newspaper stands as well. This was the first, but it certainly would not be the last time.
Since that time, The Impact staff has battled for exposure on the Dobbs Ferry campus. The paper has been relegated to a small wooden rack that hangs from the wall next to the Hudson View Café. Last year, The Impact often battled with Mercy College literature for that space. Information about why one should choose Mercy. About PACT. About Mercy Athletics. This information is readily available in every other of the dozens of wooden racks that are spread throughout the campus.
Once again, Impact editions were thrown in the garbage. This time for the Mercy literature.
The staff has run into similar problems trying to create awareness for its website, theimpactnews.com. The site is updated weekly with staff columns and web-only content ranging from college life, athletics, entertainment, politics, poetry, fashion and health. We do our best to entertain and educate. We also have event listings, college contest information and links to those Mercy sites you need to find (Blackboard, Mercy Connect, etc.)
So the staff was disheartened last year when it was told that a tab to the site would not be available under the Student Life section of Mercy.edu. Nope, the link would remain under Academics. Then Degrees and Programs. Then Undergraduate. Then Media Studies: Journalism. And then lo and behold, a link to The Impact.
If other organizations can be displayed prominently, then so should ours, a newspaper that has won several awards the past few years.
A fellow staff member didn’t have any more luck trying to have the library turn their homepage from Mercy.edu to The Impact site, as a way to get students in the library reading news stories instead of just quickly exiting out of the college’s web page.
They’ll discuss it, she was told.
This is not to say Mercy.edu isn’t important and doesn’t have viable information. The site is rarely updated, and there is no activity on it at all. Since students already attend the school, I feel it’s not a site that students actively seek out, since they don’t need to read about the benefits of why to attend Mercy College.
They are already here.
We as students deserve a more interesting website, a site that keeps us interested in the college, and makes us want to come back to it often during the semester.
We are certain that the school community supports the college newspaper and (hopefully) appreciates our efforts. But until the college helps us solve our distribution issue, ands students become angry about it, then awareness of the paper will continue to be poor.
Hopefully this column has inspired you to check out our website or pick up a copy of The Impact.
If you can find it.