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WSU textbook policy is unforgiving, is not in the best interest of students wanting to save money

WSU+students+buy+textbooks+on+Wednesday+afternoon+at+The+Bookie.+Students+should+explore+other+options+when+cost+is+high.
WSU students buy textbooks on Wednesday afternoon at The Bookie. Students should explore other options when cost is high.

WSU students buy textbooks on Wednesday afternoon at The Bookie. Students should explore other options when cost is high.

PAIGE CAMPBELL | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

PAIGE CAMPBELL | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

WSU students buy textbooks on Wednesday afternoon at The Bookie. Students should explore other options when cost is high.

JULIA KAMINSKI, Evergreen columnist

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It’s that time of year again, the mad dash to pick up textbooks, bargain hunting for the lowest prices.

Used or old, required or not, they’re all dreaded.

We sometimes avoid buying the required books until the first class to see if they’re necessary and oftentimes that isn’t possible until the course is over. If a professor isn’t using the text, the deadline to return it is only one week before it starts collecting dust on your bookshelf.

The WSU bookstore’s one-week return policy isn’t as accommodating as it appears.

“If a text goes unused and unwrapped and its one week is up, a drop class slip is required to prove the textbook is unnecessary,” Bookie employee Demetrius Griffin said.

Comfortable with its position on campus, the Bookie takes advantage of convenience to forgo the typical retail courtesy of a 30-day return policy.

Often there are more affordable options online or from students selling their used or unwanted textbooks.

Not all professors require students to buy textbooks for their courses. Rick Cherf, an instructor at WSU for 15 years, decommissioned construction management 102’s required textbook three years ago.

“I’ve been teaching this course for 12 years now,” Cherf said. “And about three years ago it became apparent that no one was reading the book, and if they read, it wasn’t clear if they get anything out of it.”

Professors are facilitators of knowledge. To instruct, they often utilize tools like textbooks or technology to ease the burden of teaching hundreds of students with many different learning preferences or disorders.

As former students themselves, professors understand the financial burden of getting a degree and some professors have explored cost-effective ways to get information to a class.

Cherf employs a practical online program called Top Hat to provide access to information in an effort to get away from “death by powerpoint” to engage the students and get the information out, Cherf said.

One professor who utilizes the printed word to convey information is Hallie Meredith, a WSU Fine Arts professor. Meredith has been teaching Fine Arts 101 for two years with the textbook “Understanding Art” by Lois Fichner-Rathus.

During the selection process, Meredith attempted to find a text relevant to the course. Like Cherf, Meredith also accounted for cost,.

“I remember looking at prices to make sure it wasn’t too exorbitant for the students,” she said.

The book does come at a price; however, Meredith uses the text and its colorful, extensive examples to reinforce her lectures.

“[It’s] a book the students would use,” Meredith said. “I didn’t want them to purchase a book and then just use one chapter.”

Even though this textbook won’t be one that collects dust on your bookcase, Meredith said, “I don’t think any book is perfect, each semester I might change what I supplement that book with.”

Readings pulled from academic journals are other free resources utilized by professors like Meredith. The unavoidable costs of college are daunting, but ultimately investing in your future career and education is worth the expense.

Many professors account for the tight student budgets and future ramen meals and try to ease the financial burden as much as they can. However, finding frugal alternatives is easy when you look in the right places.

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