Textbook rental plan gets voter approval

Andrew Kicmol, Editor in Chief

History has been made. On Nov. 9, an email was sent out to let all students know that the textbook referendum had passed. That means students will no longer need to pay an extra fee for textbooks as it will become part of their tuition.

Madison College is the first two-year technical college in Wisconsin to have a full textbook rental program.

It was also the highest voter turnout in Madison College Student Senate history, with 1,603 students voting out of 13,599. That’s 11.8 percent of the student body voting yes to the referendum. The high voter turnout bookstore manager Scott Heiman thinks was due to students wanting the referendum to pass.

“Textbooks are one of the big pieces of affordability … I think a lot of students were involved and they really wanted to see something put into place to save money,” said Heiman.

Now that the vote has passed it’s time for Heiman and textbook rental program analyst Holly Deering to get to work so the program can be up and running by the fall of 2019. One the first things to be worked out is communicating with the instructors and program groups. Answering any questions that they might have along with figuring out what textbooks instructors will be choosing to use and adopt.

It will also involve getting all departments in sync with the rental program. Departments from IT to accounting, whatever part they might have need to all be on the same page with how the rental program is going to work.

Making sure all the technology is also up to par is something that needs to be figured out.

“We need to make sure that when a student comes in and we swipe their one card that it can pull them up and their information is there, and make sure they check out the right books,” said Heiman.

That will also include serializing all textbooks that can be rented to make sure that a specific book is checked out to a specific student. Students will still get their textbooks the same way they always have, show up to the bookstore or go to the bookstore website, students will also have a bigger timeframe to get their textbooks. Instead of one week before students can stop by the bookstore earlier to get their books.

The bookstore will also require some construction, the front of the store will remain the same but the storage space in back will need to be added to, in order to have enough space for all the textbooks included in the rental program.

Right now not many of the details are known as they are still being figured out, but both Heiman and Deering are hard at work to get the textbook rental program ready.