Almost every college campus has a school-published newspaper, and many have student-published papers as well. Larger colleges may have several papers that are published both officially and unofficially. But why would you want to read news written by college students when you can get it from a local paper that has professional reporters who have better access to information and write much better?
The first, and most obvious, reason is that you can get news that is relevant to you as a student of your university.
Instead of reading about news related to your city, state, or country, the stories in your student newspaper will be much more specific and applicable to you:
- You can find campus events, like movie showings, concerts, and free food, academic news, such as finals schedules or registration deadlines, and sports news that pertains to your college’s teams.
- You won’t find this information in local papers, and not every university website is as helpful as it should be, so grabbing a copy of the newspaper can be a big help when you want to find out about happenings on your campus.
In addition to getting news, however, you can usually find some other useful (or entertaining) information. Many student newspapers feature a classifieds section for buying, selling, or trading things:
- This can be useful in times such as when you don’t want to pay full price for a book, but need it really quickly. You can call up someone who’s trying to get rid of a copy and offer them some cash or a trade for another book.
- It’s also a great place to pick up used furniture. Many students don’t want to move a couch or a set of chairs back home in the summer, an they’ll try to pawn them off through the paper.
So take advantage of it—just remember to buy a cover for whatever you buy (college students aren’t always the cleanest or most sanitary people).
One of the best parts about student-published newspapers is that they can publish whatever they’d like.
School-run papers will often downplay controversial issues or refrain from using strong language to address particular happenings. This is not the case with student papers. Many of these papers exist simply to be controversial (inspiring stories like this) or humorous (The Onion began as a student newspaper—if you don’t know what The Onion is, familiarize yourself with it before you get to school).
How to Take Advantage of It?
If you enjoy writing, getting a job as a writer, reporter, or editor for your student newspaper is a great way to gain some experience and have a lot of fun. Even if you aren’t into these things, you can always write letters to the editor of your paper (which is often a great forum for discussing controversial issues at the school).
No matter what your involvement—even if just as a reader—it’s good to have some sort of contact with your newspaper. People always talk about “getting involved on campus,” and this is a great way to start.