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Members support textbook rental

Megan Doyle | Thursday, November 4, 2010

Student Senate passed a resolution that encouraged professors to help students rent, rather than purchase, textbooks from the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore for their classes.

Academic Affairs chair AJ McGauley said the resolution will encourage professors to embrace the Rent-A-Text program, which was established this semester.

“The idea of this resolution is to use it as a starting point for talking with professors and deans about using rentals,” McGauley said.

Student government created Rent-A-Text so students could save money by renting textbooks from the Bookstore rather than buying them.

“On average a student would save about 50 percent on the rental price of the buying price,” McGauley said.

The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore can only provide books for Rent-A-Text that appear a national list sponsored by the Follett’s or a local Follett’s list begun by the University. To add a textbook to a local list for Notre Dame, a professor must commit to use the textbook for four semesters.

Professors must add textbooks to the local list and notify the Bookstore for final approval, McGauley said.

McGauley said the program was successful during its inaugural semester, and student government hopes to expand the program.

In the resolution, the senators resolved to encourage “that professors consider the Rent-A-Text program and the texts currently included in the national and local lists when selecting future material.”

Nearly half of students surveyed about Rent-A-Text indicated they would rent more texts if more titles were available, the resolution said.

Community Relations chair Claire Sokas said the resolution could help make more textbooks available to rent.

“I am a science major,” Sokas said. “I could not rent a lot of my textbooks this year.”

Lewis Hall senator Marina Seminatore said committing to a textbook for multiple semesters might restrict professors.

“If they have to commit to four terms of use professors could still find another book they like better,” Seminatore said. “Committing to use the first might not be beneficial to their class.”

The senators acknowledged not all professors could make Rent-A-Text work for their courses but said they hoped to see some expansion.

The Senate passed the resolution unanimously.