Affordable textbooks for all: Masspirg affordable textbook campaign

By Staff Writer Tamendy Raymond.

MassPIRG, a statewide student organization that works to defend public interest, has been working on the affordable textbook campaign, which is fairly new to UMassD.
Junior, Bryce Vickery, became Coordinator of the Affordable Textbook Campaign in the beginning of this semester.

He, alongside his team, strived for affordable textbooks for all college students.
The Torch had the opportunity to interview Vickery on his success and work that he has done with the campaign thus far.

“I love working with the members of my team and the school’s government to make college more affordable, it is a rewarding experience,” Vickery admits.

As college students, we understand the expenses that come with being a full-time student while taking high-priced classes.

Access codes for one course is over a hundred dollars and that can be hard for every college student to afford.

So, how can we all pitch in to solve this issue? The last thing that should desist a student from his or her college education, should be money for books.

This is why Vickery and his team, alongside other MassPIRG students work together on getting textbooks that are less expensive for students.

In order for this to be possible, we need the majority of UMassD professors to switch to “open electronic resource which are websites such as Openstacks that allow professors to use non copyrighted material in their courses,” states Coordinator Vickery.

This campaign has been able to raise awareness by petitioning for students and faculty support through petition sighting and media attention.

They are working together with professors to get workshops on campus to teach and show other professors the best and most time efficient way to incorporate open electronic resources into their courses, all while successfully getting a resolution passed by the Student Government Association showing their support for the campaign.

Vickery shares his favorite part about the campaign is “how supportive the students and faculty are for it.”

Affordable textbooks are important, students already spend huge amounts of money on tuition, housing, and food. Many are already in debt with school loans, and textbooks are “just another unnecessary cost.”

However, Vickery does explain the first approach: “it is tough trying to convince professors to move away from the use of access codes in their courses, [until we share that] there are cheaper alternative options.”

There are many ways students and faculty can get involved. The best thing to do is to sign their faculty pledge sheet in support of open electronic resources.

They will be around campus petitioning for support.

The biggest change that the campaign promises is the elimination of access codes within the school. If you are in support of the affordable textbook, sign their petition when they stop by classrooms and offices, especially since some students struggle to afford their books is somewhat unfair.

Not everyone has the luxury to pay for school, the majority has to take out loans, scholarships, grants, or what ever they can just to have an equal chance.

Textbooks should be the last of their issues.

We all should be comfortable when it comes to education, and the affordable textbook campaign is helping to take the first step into the right direction!

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