By Erik Luna
Discussions of expanding the textbook rental program to include new departments has been the new push by the Associated Student Union for spring semester.
ASU President James Garcia has been making calls and sending various emails to the department chairs in order to get their support on the new ASU book expansion.
“I’ve been in contact with the department chairs and I expressed ASU’s interest in expanding the book program,” said Garcia.
“So far, we’ve gotten a response from chemistry, foreign languages, life-sciences and mathematics.”
The only problem with this plan is that ASU does not have the funds necessary to purchase textbooks. Garcia confirmed that ASU is doing everything they can to get the required funds and are in discussions with Vice President of Student Services and Special Programs Oscar Valeriano about the matter.
Garcia said that the price of the books ASU is trying to get still isn’t set because they are still verifying what books are needed. When they get that information, they will get a quote to see just how much they will need to spend.
Although the plan is still in the preliminary stages, Garcia said that the new textbook rental expansion would not raise book rental prices. Books for classes that do not require any additional texts will stay at $20, while other classes, for example math 125, will still be $25, since there are two texts associated with the subject.
Although Garcia has been talking to many of the department chairs, he said that most of the departments can not be included into the new book expansion.
Garcia said that for some departments, the ASU textbook rental program cannot purchase books because they change books each year. In order for the program to stay in business, it needs to rent books that departments will keep using for at least three years.
Garcia has had a meeting with a representative from Pearson Publishing, a textbook publishing company, and they are making plans so that ASU can purchase the books directly from them.
Garcia also mentioned that there has been some talk between clubs about organizing a book swap program where students will be able to bring in their old books and donate them. Students can basically swap books with other students. “It’s beneficial for students,” said Garcia.
Some of the new textbooks that have already been secured for the new book expansion are for psychology and Spanish.
The book rental program isn’t the only way to get textbooks for a reasonable price. A website was made so that students who attend ELAC could purchase textbooks from other students that no longer need their textbooks. For more information on the website visit www. elactextbooks.com.