SA passes resolution to push alternatives to textbooks

Media Credit: Aaron Schwartz | Hatchet Photographer

Sen. Sydney Eskin, SEAS-U, sponsored a bill Wednesday night to encourage faculty to use low-cost alternatives to textbooks.

The Student Association Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night asking faculty to consider low-cost course materials instead of more expensive commercial textbooks.

The senate voted unanimously in favor of providing students with “open” textbooks or affordable, comparable and flexible alternatives to commercial textbooks, with the qualification that there be no reduction in the quality of the content. Those alternatives could include free online articles and journals provided by professors to their students.

Sen. Sydney Eskin, SEAS-U, said she sponsored the bill because it will make materials more affordable for students, who she said are spending an average of $1,200 on textbooks each year.

“The costs of textbooks are unreal,” she said. “GW is already interested in this, but it is our responsibility as student leaders to push it further. A lot of people don’t realize its an option.”

Eskin added that while it may take some time to adjust, professors will be able to adapt and review textbooks for their students.

The senate also voted 27 to one in favor of lowering the price of double-sided printing to increase sustainable habits of students. While the resolution calls to decrease the cost of double-sided printing, the cost of single-sided printing would increase by the same margin to even out revenue.

Sen. Logan Malik, U-at-Large, who co-sponsored the bill and has advocated for the change, said as of now 3.2 million pages are printed through WEPA at GW each year, only 37 percent of those pages are through double-sided printing.

“Our proposal is designed to incentivize students to start thinking about sustainability and their personal impact on the environment and community,” he said.

Malik added that part of the campaign is to educate professors on the change and encouraging them to allow double-sided printing for affordability and sustainability reasons.

The resolution also aims to provide WEPA printing cards to the The Store, GW’s student-run food pantry, to address the issue of affordability for students in need.

Sen. Brianna Borghi, CCAS-U, who co-sponsored the bill, said printing one piece of paper can still be double-sided with one side being blank, so the financial impact of increasing single-sided printing cost should be minimal.

“It is for the purpose of increased affordability and increased accessibility on campus. We want students to understand the change and know that it is coming so they can take full advantage of it,” she said.

The senate also voted unanimously to confirm Nicholas Prendergast as vice president of academic affairs and Kaitlin O’Connell as of vice president of student activities.

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