Textbook prices continue to soar and in most cases books cost more than Southwestern College classes. Some SWC faculty and student representatives are implementing a sell/swap program and a scholarship in an attempt to mitigate the high price of textbooks.
Phil Saenz, professor of political science, said he wants to revive a sell/swap program at SWC through the bookstore’s website. Saenz said this money-saving program needs to be effectively marketed so students can benefit from it.
“Problem is that it’s a hidden feature,” said Saenz. “Nobody knows anything about it. So I thought this needs to be publicized.”
Students can advertise their books for sale or buy books from other students through the online feature.
“It’s similar to a campus Craig’s List,” said Saenz. “It’s the best way to help students save money by selling and buying books from other students.”
Beny Pastrana, bookstore operations manager, said he will work to create awareness of the program by advertising the feature on the campus bookstore Facebook page at the beginning and ending of each semester.
The book swap information was posted on Facebook at the end of fall semester, however, no awareness of the program was posted at the beginning of the Spring 2013 semester.
Saenz said he also wants to implement a book scholarship for students in the spring. Donations will come from SWC faculty and staff through voluntary payroll deductions.
In the meantime, Saenz is implementing the Fidelio Saenz Book Scholarship, a $250 scholarship for students with financial need.
Associated Student Organization President Juan Espinoza said the ASO has a book swap task force to implement advertising for the program and student government representatives are interested in providing more services for next semester.
“The ASO will be advertising to spread the word about the online book swap system during Welcome Week on Jan. 15 and 16 near the Student Center,” he said.
Joe Fighera, acting bookstore director, declined to be interviewed for this story and refused to comment on the book swap.