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After paying a couple grand for course enrollment per year, students have to dole out another hefty sum to purchase courseware. Many classes require textbooks, with midterm and exam questions being drawn from their pages. Reluctant to spend what is often upwards of $100 on a textbook that is likely to be only opened once or twice, students are forced to either forego the textbook marks or pay the cost and walk out of the campus store textbook in hand.
MSU President Ehima Osazuwa has been very vocal about his hope to reduce tuition, and now he turns his attention to the other major absorber of student funds: courseware.
“We tried to see if we can tackle the issue by having more courseware printed at Underground, because right now the majority of courseware is printed by the University and it is significantly more expensive than printing through Underground,” Osazuwa explained.
Printing through Underground, a full service media and design center located in the Student Center, would reduce costs per textbook by around $20 according to Osazuwa.
Ultimately, however, it is at the discretion of professors to decide to make the switch. The biggest challenge lies in incentivizing professors to print through Underground.
“We are trying to tackle the issue as a one-on-one relationship with the professors, especially those who teach big classes and have a lot of students.”
Implementing this philosophy is up to the President of VP Finance Daniel D’Angela as well as Underground employee Justin Barnes, whose goal has long been to increase courseware printing.
“Last year we ended up with $19,000 in sales from courseware, with the first semester making up only $3,000 of that portion,” said Osazuwa. He hopes that the increase will continue in the years to come.
Yet Osazuwa does not want to stop there. “The second thing was to make a Materials/Textbook Committee, because in my opinion the future of textbooks is online.”