Weeks after its debut on the Forty Acres, the Belo Center for New Media is already making headlines. And it’s not just because the Belo Center is a snazzy new building on campus (though it is that). Instead, the high-tech new home of the College of Communication is receiving attention for what some called sacrificing its print-journalism roots in favor of being more environmentally friendly.
Today’s Daily Texan reported that the Belo Center would not allow any of the 112-year-old student publication’s newspaper boxes to be placed outside the building, which is now home to the School of Journalism. (It also houses the advertising and public relations departments.)
The campus newcomer is currently in hot pursuit of a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification. To earn that certification, a building must employ a certain number of sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting and motion-sensitive lighting, as well as banning signage, banners, plaques, and other forms of paper from being posted outside.
But already, Belo Center officials are reconsidering. In an email sent to Poynter, College of Communication Dean Roderick Hart wrote: “For the record, there was never an intention to ‘ban’ the boxes. Since they were already located across the street (15 feet away), it never occurred to us that we’d need additional ones. But apparently we do! And so it shall be.”
What do you think? Should Daily Texan boxes be allowed outside the new building, or should the environment come first in this brave new digital age? Share your thoughts in the poll below.
Photo by Matt Valentine.