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SGA expresses concern about high textbook costs and buyback process

Amber Cannon, Asst. News Editor

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Concerns about high textbook prices at the SRSGA bookstore led room for discussion at the Student Government Association’s regular senate meeting Monday. 

Dr. Keith Dils from the department of education was a guest speaker at the meeting where he discussed the concerns and solutions of high textbook prices at the SRSGA Bookstore. One of the concerns were the new textbooks that were being used at the bookstore.

“New textbooks were used and they were shrink-wrapped into big packages and sometimes faculty wouldn’t even use everything contained in that package,” Dils said. “Some of the textbooks were new and did they have to be?”

Dils questioned whether SRU faculty always had to get the latest edition of the textbook they needed for their class. Dils said the bookstore and others had come up with some recommendations that would go out to faculty to help them select the least expensive package and if possible, to select textbooks that are used.

Another concern Dils had was the fact that there are sources for textbooks that have been out for a long time that are not copyrighted and are free open sources for students to use.

“Could faculty put together, under their electronic syllabus on D2L, a link to some of these great resources that would be completely free,” Dils said. “Could you actually build a course that was using free open source information?”

Parliamentarian Jessica Johnson said one concern she has is the buyback process of selling textbooks. 

“I know that I’ve been screwed over a lot of times from selling my books, like paying $500 for a textbook I’ve never opened and getting like $60 back for it,” Johnson said.

Dils said he wants students to know there is a trend going on that the provost, the dean and other faculty members are looking to see what it will take to build entire majors where students don’t have to use textbooks or if it would even be an option.

Building A Senator, Sophia Sarver said she thinks this discussion is going in the right direction.

“I’ve used a lot of different types of methods for getting books, like I’ve rented books online and I have a teacher right now, we don’t even have a book, he just puts all of the articles that he uses on D2L and I print them out,” Sarver said. “It seems like this is going in a really good direction. The price they want me to pay and not be guaranteed that if the book is used or new versus being able to go online on Amazon and Chegg and bringing it down by half or even less than half, I feel like we’re losing a lot of money.”

Dr. Itzi Meztli, SGA APSCUF representative, welcomed all students to attend the “Meet and Greet Lunch Rally” on April 9 during common hour to supported APSCUF’s theme of full restoration of state funding for PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education).

“As we know, back in 2011, the funding was cut,” Meztli said. “The governor has proposed a new PASSHE budget. He is asking for an 11 percent increase. So, he is asking for $458 million, which is an increase of about $45.3 million for PASSHE. If the budget is adopted, we’re looking at a $90 million increase over a three year process.”

SGA approved the spring 2015 conference student grant recipients. The recipients of the grant were WRSU-TV for the amount of $500, flute choir/wind ensemble for the amount of $500 and the SRU Potters Guild for the amount of $500.

President of RockOUT, Kristopher Hawkins gave a presentation of the trip RockOUT took to the Mid-Atlantic LGBT Conference in November. Hawkins said RockOUT was really excited about going to the conference. Hawkins said usually RockOUT is only able to send 10 students to the conference, but with the help of SGA, they were able to take 18 students. and he thanked SGA on behalf of RockOUT for giving them the opportunity to attend the conference.

The SRU Film Society was granted $800 to help with printing costs for a new film magazine on campus and The Psi Chi Honorary was granted $100 to help with the costs of bringing a speaker for brain awareness week.

Commuter Senator, Michael Farah was named “liter of the week.” 

The next meeting will take place April 6 at 8:45 p.m. in the theater of the Robert M. Smith Student Center. 

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SGA expresses concern about high textbook costs and buyback process