Tackling Textbook Costs

As part of their goals list, the student senate is working on finding alternative ways to offset textbook costs.

Sen. Matt Clarkson, who is working on the issue, wanted suggestions from fellow senators at the Feb. 14  senate meeting.

One option explored was to only order a new textbook if more than 10 percent of the content is new. The legislative body proposed to write legislation at a future date to make this point official.

Meanwhile, Clarkson said one option would be to create a textbook exchange website. Here students will have access to used books at affordable prices. With this system, students could make more money by selling books to their peers.

Sen. Wendy Cohen’s recommended to sell books to people in the same community.

Cohen also discussed the idea of partnering with United University Professions (UUP) to help reduce the cost of new textbooks.

“United University Professions as allies with cheap education, [could] encourage teachers to use older editions,” said Cohen.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas suggested a textbook ordering system similar to amazon.com, where students are sellers and buyers.

“Just where they can sell their textbooks to other students, it’s a possibility that SA can administer the textbook selling site,” she said.

Currently, students are urged by the senate to utilize the online formats of custom textbooks.

The textbook plan is in the preliminary phases. Clarkson said the suggestions would be taken to department heads to see their opinions.

“There is no blanket solution,” said Clarkson. “What works for one professor may not work for another.”

Any students who have suggestions for alternative textbook options are encouraged to speak with the senators.