MAASTRICHT. As of two weeks ago, FASoS students can find not only freshly brewed coffee and carrot cake at Banditos, but also a new shelf on the left dedicated to newspapers. The faculty agreed to pay a total of €1,049 per year for student subscriptions to The New York Times, Die Zeit, The Economist and Le Monde Diplomatique.
The call to provide quality newspapers for the faculty’s students came from student representative Alessandro Ferrante (20, BA European Studies). In his proposal, he suggested it could help to increase political awareness and involvement: “You become engaged by learning about and discovering what is happening in your country and in the world.” The idea was to have the three languages French, English and German represented. Ferrante also wanted to encourage students to go beyond the news offered by apps on electronic devices. “News apps never go deep enough and don't tackle the roots of an issue. With these newspapers it’s different. We want to favour slow information.”
But do students actually read the papers in Banditos? Most hadn’t noticed the new shelf and were pleasantly surprised when it was pointed out to them by Observant. “They should make it more visible!” says Theresa Kemeny (21, BA European Studies). “Students tend to be stressed when they come to Banditos but I like the initiative. They could also give the old issues to the students.” Louisa Howells Vessey (20, BA Arts and Culture) thinks, on the contrary, “It fits the relaxed atmosphere; most students are at Banditos in between tutorials anyway.”
According to Noemi Weckbecker (20, BA European Studies), “It makes sense since we’re a social sciences faculty, and these types of newspapers are very expensive so not affordable for students to buy on a regular basis.” While she praises the selection, others have reservations. “It’s very Western. I wouldn’t mind having an issue of Al-Jazeera, for instance”, suggests Emilie Aakervik (21, BA European Studies). Time will tell whether the initiative can be deemed a success. “You can’t know now how many people will actually read them,” says Luisa Ricci (20, BA Arts and Culture), “but it’s good to try it out!”