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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “ASUA gala strives to raise textbook funds, open local dialogue”

    If the Associated Students of the University of Arizona organizers have their way, a gala hosting state and UA community leaders will result in lower textbook prices.

    The event, planned for April 27 in the Tucson Marriott University Park grand ballroom, will use two approaches to soften the blow of buying books in the fall, said ASUA President Erin Hertzog.

    The first is a textbook scholarship that will be funded with money raised from the gala.

    Danielle DeSorda, an international studies sophomore and the event’s main organizer, said tickets would be free, with money coming in primarily from guest donations and an auction.

    Items up for auction come from donations by individual members of ASUA, and DeSorda said they

    This problem is so deep, there’s not one answer to addressing this problem.

    – Erin Hertzog, ASUA president

    range from restaurant gift certificates to a weekend away in a cabin. She said the event itself will be paid for by donation and outside contribution.

    All proceeds will go to a scholarship fund which will be open for applications after the event is over, DeSorda said.

    DeSorda added that the scholarships would be divided into three categories: $300, $400 and $500. They will be awarded to student winners in the fall.

    But Stephen Gerner, ASUA senator, said he thinks the main purpose of the gala will be to educate members of the community about how complicated the textbook issue is and help spur them to action.

    Gerner said he hopes, through the gala and other efforts, to see the price of an average textbook shrink by 20 percent in the fall by causing some “”really radical changes.””

    Hertzog said one of the main points of the gala will be a video presentation highlighting the different ways UA faculty and staff, as well as state political leaders, can lower the prices at the bookstore.

    “”I really want them to understand the depth of this issue and what they can do to help,”” Hertzog said.

    One of the most important goals for student leaders is to get the UA faculty to submit their book lists to the bookstore on time, Gerner said.

    When orders go in late, Gerner said college bookstores are forced to raise prices to cover the increased cost of obtaining the books on time. Late submissions also limit textbook buyback programs, since stores cannot afford to spend large amounts of money to buy those books they will not be able to resell themselves.

    Hertzog said ASUA has been working very closely with professors on campus to address the issue, and the April gala will help spread the word further.

    “”We want to involve them from the beginning,”” Hertzog said. “”Because the more faculty who are involved, the more chances we have of at least decreasing the price on this campus.””

    The gala itself is part of an action plan for a group, led by Gerner, which is working to affect change on this campus. There are separate efforts underway for the state Legislature and the Arizona Board of Regents.

    Many members of those bodies will also be invited to the event, Hertzog said.

    “”This problem is so deep, there’s not one answer to addressing this problem,”” Hertzog said. “”I think it’s important that everyone who’s invited here sees exactly how they can help.””

    Originally, plans were to hold the gala on Feb. 6, but a mistake at the Marriott forced ASUA to reschedule it for its current date two months later.

    DeSorda said she hopes the gala becomes an annual tradition at the UA, calling attention to the issues students care about.

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