Leave our stands alone!

For the past couple of weeks The Paisano has been forced into a debate about whether The Paisano newspaper stands in the University Center will be removed and The Paisano relegated to university distribution bins.

UC officials claimed that they wanted to reduce the amount of clutter in the buildings. They said that there were too many publication stands and that they wanted to keep all approved commercial publications in one place.

The problem with this logic is the implication that The Paisano is similar to the approved commercial publications in the university – the Apartment Guide, Study Breaks and USA Today.

The Student Newspaper Association – a registered student organization, sponsors The Paisano. The Paisano is run by students and published for students. Although The Paisano is funded through advertisement revenue, it is a student-run publication. Everyone on staff is a volunteer from UTSA.

Another issue is the placement of these new publication stands. The location of the UC bookstore-building stand is nearly invisible to passing students. There would be no banners or signs that advertise that The Paisano is different from other publications in the stand.

The UC is a major pick-up spot for many of the papers distributed on campus. If The Paisano were to lose the right to keep its official stands in the same locations, students would have a difficult time locating the publication.

This is a freedom of the press issue. The Paisano needs the university’s help in facilitating student participation. Students need to stay informed about what is going on at their university. The student newspaper provides this service to students, faculty and staff.

The UC officials believe they are cleaning up their buildings but it takes only a close look to see the amount of loose tables, chairs, recycling bins, bookstore cubbies, computers, left behind junk, trash, Pepsi machines and students that clog each UC building.

Why would the UC then focus its attention on publications first? The Paisano stands are smaller than most of the furniture.

This may seem like a small issue to students but for the UC to limit the ability for The Paisano to reach the maximum number of students it possibly can defies all logic. Students pay to sustain the student center. They should have the right to a visible student newspaper.