Vote YES! for textbook rental program

Moving to a full-rental program would save money



Flyers from the Vote Yes! for the textbook rental program campaign rest on a tabletop.

The cost of textbooks may no longer be an additional cost of going to Madison College if the textbook referendum passes. Instead, the cost of textbooks will be built in to student’s tuition where students will be ale to rent their books from the bookstore instead of having to buy them, whether it be from the college bookstore or from an online or second-hand source.

The Clarion Editorial board will be voting yes on the textbook referendum that will take place through student email Nov. 1-6. The simple reason is a pragmatic one. An extra fee added into tuition is the better option than having to pay for textbooks as an additional expense along with tuition.

The projected cost of no more than $7 per credit means a 12-credit student would pay $84 additional dollars on their tuition. Compare that with the current cost of textbooks per student, projected at $600 per semester for the 2017-2018 school year.

That alone sounds like a reason to vote yes on the referendum.

There are students who may buy their textbooks from somewhere like Amazon or a second-hand bookstore, keeping their textbook costs down. But according to Tina Marshalek, Campaign Manager for the Textbook Referendum, the cost is still too much.

“I’m someone who buys their textbooks second-hand and goes through Amazon and goes through all the absolute cheapest options … I am still spending hundreds of dollars every semester,” said Marshalek.

Students who are in a graphic design, video or photography program, where once their generals are out of the way and no longer need to pay for textbooks, may not agree with having an extra $84 added to their tuition. Also something to keep in mind, continuing education students won’t be included in the rental program, only program students.

But again the pragmatic decision is that the rental program would be good for Madison College students as a whole.

As of right now, the biggest draw backs are the unknowns of what will actually be included into the rental program.

For example, access codes and will be handled on a case by case basis, and the college is still looking at an opt out possibility for students that don’t want to pay for the program. But allowing students to opt out may increase the cost for those who choose to pay for the program.

The projected cost is also something that is somewhat of an unknown. The $7 is on the high end of the scale but the college would have the freedom, if needed, to increase the price by 2.9 percent if enrollment drops. Anything over three percent and the Student Senate will have to vote to approve the price increase.

One positive unknown is the possibility to reduce the cost of my math lab, the online math homework and tutor system that the college uses for some of its math classes. Right now, students have to pay the full price of $100 to use my math lab. The rental program could lower the cost. UW Whitewater only pays $5 to use my math lab and their enrollment is lower than Madison College

If passed the college will have a lot to figure out over the spring and summer to fully implement the textbook rental program for the start of the 2019 fall semester.

Something that won’t affect students is, if the referendum passes Madison College would be the first two-year technical college with a full rental program. That’s something that would be fairly progressive for a two-year school and put Madison College as an example for other two-year technical colleges.

Overall students should vote yes on the textbook referendum for the simplistic reason that it’s better to have a small fee added to your tuition rather than have a large fee that comes as an addition to your tuition.

If students have questions they want to ask themselves about the textbook referendum there will be a townhall on Oct. 29 at 11:30a.m.- 12:30p.m. in Room D1630 on Truax campus.