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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Textbook resolution passed

    The Faculty Senate voted to support legislation aimed at lowering the cost of textbooks in their meeting yesterday.

    The Arizona Students’ Association and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona have fought to lower the cost of textbooks since last semester.

    Bills SB 1175 and HB 2230 will require textbook publishers to give more information to college faculty and professors when they purchase textbooks.

    A 2007 study by the Student Public Interest Research Groups, “”Exposing the Textbooks Industry,”” found that publishers do not fully inform faculty of textbook prices, despite faculty interest.

    The bills were introduced in the Arizona Senate and House last week, as a result of pressure from students and parents.

    Last Tuesday, university students held a press conference at Arizona State University to celebrate the bill’s introduction and discuss the future cost of textbooks.

    “”This legislation is a result of the high cost of textbooks on college campuses,”” said ASUA President Tommy Bruce. “”Another aspect includes working with textbook publishers that gives us the opportunity to lower the cost to students.””

    Some faculty expressed concern over the resolution’s wording because the resolution didn’t clearly explain the faculty provisions in regards to choosing textbooks, and emphasized the importance of the clause that reads, “”Be it further resolved that legislation include a provision stating that the legislation may not be construed in a matter that violates academic freedom.””

    Faculty Senator Raphael Gruener voted to table the document, citing the need to rework the language.

    Wanda Howell, faculty chair and professor of nutritional sciences, stressed the importance of the resolution and said it couldn’t be delayed.

    “”We need to vote on this today,”” she said. “”No part of this bill can be construed as limiting the choice of textbooks by faculty.””

    Bruce added that wasn’t the goal of the resolution, and working with faculty was a key component.

    The faculty approval demonstrates a unified front on the issue, Bruce said.

    “”This is another great step toward lowering the cost of textbooks and of higher education in general,”” Bruce said. “”It’s great that faculty, along with students and administrators, support this legislation.””

    Blaire Price, an undeclared freshman, said the legislation is long due.

    “”Books are way too expensive – we don’t use them enough,”” she said. “”My MIS (management information systems) book cost $140 and I could only sell it back for $5.””

    Will Robertson, an interdisciplinary studies sophomore, said lowering the cost of books would help him graduate with less debt.

    “”I feel like this campus in general is pretty expensive,”” he said. “”Mostly food and textbooks are what kill me, so lowering their cost would be a huge help.””

    The price of college textbooks have increased at twice the rate of inflation since 1986, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report published in July 2005.

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