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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Observer

15 reasons to keep newspapers around

Nothing will put a damper on a bright-eyed college student like the journalism industry, but here’s the upside. I’ve compiled a list of 15 amazing uses for newspapers. Hint: The final reason is the most absurd of them all.

1. Dorm room fly swatter

Nothing works better than a rolled-up newspaper.

2. Annoying roommate swatter

I can’t say I didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of this many times.

3.Basketball game confetti

There is something so cathartic about ripping up the past Observer edition to celebrate the first Irish basket.

4. Giant coaster for your coffee table

How else are you going to prevent everyone’s beverage cans from leaving rings on your Ikea quad common room furniture?

5. Paper airplane fodder

Don’t try to argue that printer paper is better for this purpose. Do you mean to say you shirk from a challenge?

6. Campfire kindling

Trust me, newspapers work better than those high-tech fire bricks. Didn’t the boy scouts teach you anything?

7.(In an extreme pinch) toilet paper

Can I get a little commotion from the broke college students who worked summer internships?

8. Umbrella that slowly grows soggy

I know you’ve been trapped inside North or South Dining Hall when it started pouring. Well, you could’ve saved your hair if you’d grabbed a copy of our latest edition. This ink bleeds to keep you dry.

9. Introvert’s best friend

Speaking from experience, reading or “reading” a newspaper is a phenomenal strategy to prevent social interaction.

10. Instant megaphone

This could also be called the introvert’s worst nightmare. Use the newspaper to blast insults at your friends as they walk to class. Amplify the effect by using an Irish Insider edition to wake up your neighbors on game day.

11. DIY personal fan

Those of you who don’t have AC, I hope you’re listening and learning.

12. Paint splatter absorber

This is one of the newspaper’s most monopolistic markets. Nothing works better to protect your floor from the latest art project.

13.Material to make little paper boats

Set your creations afloat on St. Mary’s Lake and take in a serene moment. You don’t have to worry about them getting lost at the bottom of the lake. Paper is biodegradable.

14.Two for one deal: material to make little paper hats

Let’s make this the new game day uniform. Irish wear green? More like Irish wear student journalism.

15. A resource to learn more about your community, educate yourself about the world around you and build a repertoire of engaging, diverse, conversational material.

Now this, this is truly preposterous. I know it’s rather radical to suggest such a use for a newspaper, but I hope you’ll give the Observer a chance to be part of your college experience. 

The Observer is here for you — the students of the tri-campus. We welcome your participation and feedback. This is your forum, whether that means reading the new edition over Monday morning dining hall coffee (my personal favorite), writing a Letter to the Editor, buying a classified ad to wish your friend a happy birthday or procrastinating your homework with a crossword puzzle. Say hi, email us and read the paper! We have copies available in student centers, dining halls and most of the academic buildings across the tri-campus.

In a culture often entrenched in social media feuds and one-sided conversations, I hope The Observer can be a place of respite for you to enjoy 16 pages of colorful stories about the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities. From frontline football game coverage to the latest Netflix show review, there really is something for everyone. We hope you find yourself reflected in these pages. You are welcome here.

TL;DR: This is your student newspaper. Give it a read. Why not? 

The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Maggie Eastland

Maggie is an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer. Email her at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.