and DANIEL SCHWARTZ Students who subscribe to local and national newspapers will no longer have the luxury of a paper on their doorstep and will instead have to use a drop-box system. In addition, the Wharton junior said that Penn News -- which delivers newspapers to approximately 1000 students -- will probably cancel door-to-door service to virtually all campus dormitories and off-campus residences later this semester. Stanley said that the changes are necessary due to rising delivery costs as well as the increasing amount of newspaper thefts. "I know they are going to be upset, but we are doing our best to keep it," Stanley said last night. The new drop boxes would dispense newspapers to customers who enter a numerical access code. The change will also affect some off-campus residents who use Penn News to deliver their papers. These deliveries will be transfered for the newspapers to handle themselves. Stanley said the Penn News managers will contact all subscribers this weekend and offer to cancel their subscriptions with no penalty. He added though that if 40 percent of the students cancel, all delivery on campus will be halted immediately. The final decision to cancel doorstep deliveries will be made by this weekend, pending negotiations with The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal. Stanley added that it was unlikely that any resolution could be reached. The Penn News manager said that although it will be impossible for Penn News to stop theft from the new drop boxes, there will be different numerical combinations for Sunday and weekday newspapers. "I hope students who subscribe [to newspapers] in the Quad will think of themselves as a closed community and as paid customers and will not give out their combinations," he said. Penn News also estimates that 20 percent of the subscribers will not pick up their papers on any given day, Stanley added, and so thefts would not dramatically deplete the supply. Since Penn News' separation from Penn Student Agencies over the summer, the delivery organization has run into several financial and operational difficulties. Stanley said the decision to cancel doorstep delivery is due to the increased cost of vans used for delivery. In most businesses, companies cover rising costs by raising their prices. However, the newspapers forbid the agency to increase prices. Stanley said last night that Penn News received permission from the Department of Residential Living to set up the drop boxes in all campus dormitories except the Quadrangle -- though the decision on the South Campus residence has not yet been finalized. South Campus Assistant Director David Heary said yesterday afternoon that the proposed drop boxes must meet certain space and aesthetic requirements, adding that Residential Living would like to preserve the historic beauty of the Quadrangle. Several students expressed their anger with the change last night. Disgruntled College freshman Andrew Eisenstein said that he "will stop [his] subscription," saying that without doorstep deliveries, Penn News' service is pointless. "What's the point of dealing with Penn News if I have to go down to the Quad gate every morning to get my paper," Eisenstein said. "I might as well buy it at Wawa." College sophomore Michael Clark said that "the service has been poor. I've had my papers stolen before." Clark added that cancellation of door to door service leaves him feeling "duped." Penn News will also be forced to fire 10 of the 15 students it currently employs as deliverers.Comments powered by Disqus
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