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Friday, June 24, 2022
New textbook affordability pilot could launch in spring

Shared Governance Campaign Director Jacqueline Beaulieu co-sponsored the textbook affordability legislation brought forward Tuesday.

New textbook affordability pilot could launch in spring

Students could pay a lower price for books next semester after the Associated Students of Madison adopted legislation Tuesday that launches a new textbook affordability pilot on campus.

The legislation gives the trial a green light for the spring 2018 semester. Student Council Chair Katrina Morrison, a co-sponsor, mentioned the department of economics was being considered for the pilot, but the departments have not yet been chosen.

The pilot specifically targets classes which require textbooks that force students to buy a code, Shared Governance Campaign Director Jacqueline Beaulieu said.

According to the legislation, textbooks through the pilot program would be billed through the Bursar’s Office as a separate line item after students register for their classes. The program expects to save students between 60 to 80 percent on each textbook, ASM said in a release. Financial aid could also be applied to the cost.

The body did have some issues with the pilot, such as students going to classes that enforce a no-technology policy. Representatives also wanted to know what would happen if students decided they preferred to read a hard copy.

In addition, council members discussed amending the legislation so that professors would be required to support the online textbook pilot program instead of encouraged, but some said it would be an infringement on professors’ academic freedom.

Alex Hader, chair of Equity and Inclusion Committee and a co-sponsor of the legislation, said that during talks with Steve Cramer, vice provost of Teaching and Learning, he encouraged them to not include such a requirement for this very reason as well as a potential pushback from faculty and staff.

“ASM has been making textbook affordability a priority for a long time,” Hader said. “I’m really happy we were able to find a way to work with administration to get something finally implemented and affordable and accessible for students.

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