As a part of the TEXTBOOKS SUCK campaign, UPUA representatives will be holding an Operation Lollipop event in the HUB-Robeson Center to raise awareness of the campaign.
University Park Undergraduate Association representatives will have a table at the HUB from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today where students can stop by to learn tips about how they can save money when it comes to buying textbooks.
The campaign, which is a part of UPUA’s Academic Affairs Committee, made its debut at FreshFest on Sept. 5, where students had the opportunity to learn more about what UPUA does.
From FreshFest, data was collected from 102 freshmen who spent an average of $469 on textbooks, UPUA Secretary Julia Schrank said.
“We found this to be unacceptable, so we wanted to continue our programming to get us in the right direction,” Schrank (junior-French and Spanish) said at the general assembly meeting Wednesday.
Students will fill out a Google form with basic information about themselves and how much they spent on textbooks for the semester. Additionally, they will answer survey questions to offer insight and thoughts regarding buying textbooks.
“We’re essentially going to be asking what do you dislike the most about the textbook-buying process… [and] are there any professors who are exceptional at saving on textbook costs. We’re also going to be asking if they would use a student book exchange,” UPUA Academic Affairs Chairman Rick Pooler (junior-electrical engineering) said
Once they fill out the information, they’ll be given a lollipop and a “TEXTBOOKS SUCK” highlighter. The lollipop and highlighter will have contact information for the campaign included on them. The lollipop will also include a tip on how students can avoid paying high costs for textbooks.
Student input will be a big part of the event.
“It’s one thing for us to just say the prices should be lowered, but I think it’s more helpful to use a personal story,” UPUA Chairman of the Assembly Spencer Malloy (senior-philosophy and agroecology) said. “Getting those personal narratives is a big part.”
Of the students who stop by, 36 will have the chance to be in a promotional video for the campaign. In the video, they will either be asked to share their “worst-ever textbook story” or their “best textbook tip.”
While at the Operation Lollipop table, students can also nominate a professor who they believe utilizes reasonable textbook prices for a “Textbook Heroes” campaign.
The committee will interview nominated professors. Those who are fit to earn the title of a Textbook Hero will be given a statuette and will be featured on the TEXTBOOKS SUCK website.
“We select the 12 top professors who we feel saved their students money. The whole point of it is to positively reinforce their actions,” Schrank said at the meeting.
The cost of the event totaled out to be $479.98. Supplies for Operation Lollipop cost a total of $450.58 and Textbook Heroes awards cost $29.40.
The student input from the event will help the TEXTBOOKS SUCK campaign take the next step in making affordable textbook prices.
“We’re going to use the information that we gather about textbooks to develop a plan of action to reduce textbooks costs or whatever the students want us to do, based on the survey,” Pooler said.
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