A.S. passes resolution to provide more affordable textbooks

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Vice president Sydni Powell, 21, psychology major talks about the bookstore working with the faculty to make books more affordable to students. Photo credit: Loren Townsley/ Contributor

Associated Students approved a resolution encouraging CSUN faculty and the Matador Bookstore to work together to provide more affordable textbook policies for students Tuesday in their final meeting for the academic school year.

The resolution outlined the importance of their cooperation, as it is state law, according to the California State Assembly Bill 2477.

“College and university bookstores should work with faculty to review timelines and processes involved in ordering and stocking selected textbooks, disclose textbook costs to faculty and students and actively promote and publicize book buyback programs,” the 2004 bill states.

According to Vice President Sydni Powell, students have trouble with access to affordable materials. Occasionally faculty members fail to compare class material retail prices versus the publishers’ listed price; or sometimes don’t communicate with the bookstore to notify them what materials they plan to order for their classes until last minute.

“Matador Bookstore Director Amy Berger said that as of last week about 50 percent of faculty had yet to give the Matador Bookstore their intended list of materials. They’re now late for their deadlines,” Powell said.

She explained the difficulty the bookstore encounters with their business. Though now they offer textbooks for rent to students, the store must rent the book out three times on average before they make a profit.

“The average Cal State Northridge undergraduate spends about $1,746 a year on books and supplies,” a CSUN College Portrait said.

Moodle

A.S. also voted on a resolution drafted by the Academic Affairs Committee to support faculty use of Moodle and any other learning management systems at CSUN.

The goal of the resolution is to promote CSUN faculty to consolidate class information found online into one delivery model to, “improve access to information,” and, “create a single, collective location where all class information can be found quickly and efficiently.”

Faculty members would be permitted to use their own personal websites should they choose to do so, but would be asked to post a link to the external website and post the course syllabus to Moodle.

ASCE

A.S. granted $6,300 to CSUN’s American Society of Civil Engineers to attend the 2012 National Student Steel Bridge Competition.

The group placed in the top three in the regional competition and now is eligible to compete in the national competition. ASCE started designing the bridge in August and student members worked on the project through winter break putting in up to 12-hour shifts.

ASCE Board Member Melissa Martinez said they, “designed and built a 20-foot-long bridge that can hold the weight of a Honda Civic.”

ASCE members appealed to the board explaining their attendance would put CSUN on the map at a national level, as the College of Engineering is not currently recognized as a magnet program for CSUN.

The competition is from May 25-26 in South Carolina at Clemson University.


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