ASG passed its first Winter Quarter resolution Wednesday, backing the Franken Affordable College Textbook Act, which aims to promote schools moving away from expensive textbooks and towards free online open textbooks.
The act has gained momentum across college campuses and has already been implemented at fellow Big Ten school University of Illinois.
This call for change comes from the exorbitant costs college students face outside of tuition. Between 2002 and 2012, textbook prices have increased by 82 percent, with the average college student spending $1,207 on textbooks and supplies each year. VP for Community Relations Joji Syed, who led the resolution, cited data that claimed 7 out of 10 college students have not purchased textbooks due to cost.
While the resolution was met mostly with support, it has potential harm to low-income students. For many low-income students, the stipend received for books each quarter can help cover other expenses. A university-wide switch to free textbook could benefit middle-income students but may lessen the stipend received by their peers.
Syed insisted that no actions would be taken until the impact on financial aid had been fully examined.
Her current priority was raising faculty’s awareness of this “relatively radical solution to what people don’t see as an issue because they’re not students.”
ASG also voted in a new accessibility and inclusion vice president, Jourdan Dorrell. She stated that while the job “isn’t the easiest,” her passion and plan to develop relationships will help her achieve her goals, which includes a diversity requirement for students.
In smaller news, the election committee, who monitors ASG’s election process, was selected during the meeting after a round of nominations.