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The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Barnes & Noble College makes textbook bundling offer to ASWSU

If implemented, the program will cost a 15-credit student $300 a semester
Bookie general manager Erin Svancara presenting First Day Complete at Wednesday’s ASWSU meeting

The ASWSU Senate heard from both the director and deputy directors of the legislative affairs department as well as representatives from Barnes & Noble College at this week’s meeting.

Bookie general manager Erin Svancara presented the idea of First Day Complete to the senators, which is a course material bundling model meant to increase equitable access, convenience and affordability for students.

“Students across the nation have told us over and over again that textbooks are too expensive,” Svancara said. “The process of getting textbooks can be a hassle, and not having course materials by the start of the term can have a negative impact on their learning.”

In order to address this issue, Barnes & Noble College has decided to partner with WSU to find a solution to provide course materials by the first day of class at an affordable price for all students, she said.

“First Day Complete has been a proven solution to support student success for all students,” Svancara said. “Students automatically receive their books and access to all electronic materials before the first day of class.”

Svancara said course materials are applied as a single course charge to the student’s account, and would save students both money and time.

Based on course material history for WSU, estimates are that the service would cost $20 per credit hour, Svancara said. This would amount to around $300 per semester for a student taking 15 credits. All course materials would be rentals only.

Svancara said from a sample of 500 WSU students who were surveyed last spring, 88% of students said they would be interested in a course bundling program, while 75% reported they would have a more positive view of the school if it offered a course bundling program. The surveyed students were not given information regarding the details of this specific program, she said.

Students will be able to opt out of the First Day Complete program if they choose to. However, students are not able to pay a fraction of the rate to receive materials for a smaller number of classes, regardless of their class load, she said.

For example, if a student were to take 15 credits, and was taking only one class that required a textbook, the student would still have to pay the full fee to receive that textbook through the First Day Complete program. Students are also unable to opt out from receiving the course materials for specific classes, Svancara said.

Leslie Martin, Barnes & Noble College regional manager, said they will make it as transparent as possible to students that they have the choice to opt out of the program.

“We will communicate starting the minute you register [for classes],” she said. “It’s all about the communication piece so people understand it. It’s like anything else – if you don’t understand something, you’re not going to participate in it.”

Freshman delegate Emerson Gruits asked how First Day Complete would benefit students more than pre-existing resources such as rental book services on Amazon, free pdfs that can be found online and used book fairs on campus.

“The fair that students can sell their used books at, does that help every single student in the class?” Martin said. “It’s offered … But does it help every single student? That’s the piece of this [program] that I need to come back to. It’s for everyone, and it helps everyone if they choose to remain in the program.”

Colin Bannister, legislative affairs director, and Savannah Eakin and Dylan Smentek, both legislative affairs deputy directors, presented progress updates to the senators. All three of the representatives from the legislative affairs department attended the Washington Student Association general assembly this past weekend, Bannister said, who also serves as the association’s vice president.

Bannister was able to get an initiative on the agenda to support undocumented students at the state level in order to make securing licenses for post-graduate students an easier and more equitable process, he said.

Eakin plans to meet with the Board of Regents regarding the possibility of a 3% tuition increase for the upcoming school year across all WSU campuses, she said.

Bannister also presented the senators with his legislative agenda for this year, including both his state and federal legislative priorities. His state priorities include expanding the Washington College Grant, securing full funding for the Basic Needs Act and supporting student mental health, among other priorities

The priorities on Bannister’s federal agenda are financial aid, specific WSU asks from the federal government, undocumented student support, the Basic Needs Act, and hazing prevention, he said. Bannniter’s legislative agenda was unanimously approved.

The senators then voted on Bills 53-08, 53-09 and 53-10, all of which were authored by Senator Sophia Flippin. Bills 53-09 and 53-10 both suggested minor grammar changes to the ASWSU bylaws, whereas 53-08 allows freshman delegates to dedicate their existing weekly one office hour to attend an ASWSU Auxiliary Committee event or meeting as opposed to spending it in the ASWSU office space. All three bills were unanimously approved.

ASWSU meets at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday in CUB 204.

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MUSFIRAH KHAN, Evergreen reporter
Musfirah Khan is a junior from Seattle, Washington studying multimedia journalism. She started working for the Evergreen in spring 2023.
MADDY RICE, Evergreen photographer
Maddy Rice is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from White Center, Washington, she is a sophomore majoring in Business Managment, with a minor in Sports Managment. Maddy began working for the Daily Evergreen in the Fall of 2023.

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  • Sophia FlippinNov 8, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Hello, Bill 53-08 did not add additional duty for freshman delegates. It allows them to dedicate their existing weekly one office hour to attend an ASWSU Auxiliary Committee event or meeting as opposed to spending it in the ASWSU office space. This is the same for senators.