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USG’s textbook resolution passes in University Senate

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The cost of college textbooks has been on the rise, although students across the U.S. have found ways to buy them at a cheaper rate. See The Lantern’s story here. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Managing Editor for Design

Undergraduate Student Government took its first major step toward initiating its textbook affordability call to action after a vote in the University Senate Wednesday afternoon passed a resolution pertaining to faculty textbook orders.

The resolution, sponsored by USG and passed by the University Senate unanimously, recommends faculty textbook orders to be placed prior to the close of course registration as well as implementing incentive structures to ensure cooperation. The resolution states this policy could help Ohio State students save upwards of $2.5 million dollars annually, per an estimate from Barnes and Noble.

“The main idea behind the resolution is to increase textbook affordability without the university incurring any cost to it, because we feel that’s a very good step in the right direction,” said Jenna Gravalis, a fourth-year in political science and communication, and the sponsor of the resolution.

Submitting faculty textbook orders earlier allows for a longer window for which Barnes and Noble can procure used textbooks, both through shopping used textbook markets and buying back books from students, according to the resolution.

Student sponsors of the resolution gather around University President Michael Drake, center. Credit: Courtesy of Gerard Basalla

Gerard Basalla, a president of USG and a fourth-year in political science and strategic communication, said that the resolution has been a long time coming, and that he hopes the new administration will continue to work on textbook affordability.

“One of our top (priorities) was affordability (this year), and we’re kind of using textbooks as an example to showcase how we can make college more affordable for students,” Basalla said.

In a recent interview with The Lantern, Andrew Jackson and Sophie Chang, the newly elected USG president and vice president, said they intend to continue the prior administration’s work on textbook affordability.

“We will look to build on that,” said Chang, a third-year in environment, economy sustainability and development.

Basalla said that the resolution encompasses only part of what USG hopes to accomplish toward textbook affordability, but that it is a significant step forward.

“This is definitely a first step, and I think it’s important to us that this is just the starting block. We didn’t want to just highlight one thing, but by starting with one thing we can kind of get the ball rolling,” Basalla said. “We definitely look to future administrations in USG and we look to the school to continue textbook affordability.”

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