Administrators work out a cheaper deal with textbook company; SGA could re-vote on the issue

By Katie Schimmelpfennig

Trevecca administrators will act on the recommendation of SGA about whether to adopt a new textbook policy that requires all students to rent their textbooks from the company that manages the Trevecca bookstore.

David Caldwell, Trevecca’s executive vice president for administration and finance, said he “intends to go with what SGA said.”

SGA approved the program Feb. 13, but SGA President Riley Wampler said SGA may vote again after hearing from a group of students who have raised concerns and questions about the new program.

“Based on student feedback we could decide to re-vote,” Wampler said.

If SGA were to vote again on the issue, it would be after an open forum to inform students about the proposed policy.

“Darren [Campbell, CEO of Tree of Life Bookstores, Inc.] can come back to campus for another open forum with students but it won’t be until after spring break…but he will definitely come back in March to discuss further,” Caldwell wrote, in an email Saturday.

Books Fly Free is a program of Tree of Life Bookstore Inc., a $3.5 million dollar company out of Marion Ind., that will include a textbook fee in tuition. Books are rentals that will be delivered to student dorms and apartments. Starting with current freshmen, all students would be required to participate.

Originally the proposal was that students would pay $22.50 per credit hour for class-required textbooks, which SGA approved.

But, Caldwell on Friday said he and Campbell worked out a verbal agreement for Trevecca students to rent textbooks with Books Fly Free for $20 per credit hour instead.

The program would automatically charge $20 per credit hour for the rental textbooks of each student each semester. If a student took 12 hours, the student would be billed $240. If a student took 18 hours, they would be billed $360.

Students are waiting to hear answers about a recent textbook proposal.

“Right now we are kind of, mostly trying to raise awareness for the student body. So that we can ask direct questions at the informational meeting,” said Andrea Corzine, an organizer of Textbook Dilemma, a group of students who want more answers about the program.

Negative student response does not worry Caldwell, he said. The initial response of Trevecca is similar to Greenville College, the university that piloted Books Fly Free.

Trevecca officials will review Books Fly Free every year to review the pricing and demand, Caldwell said.

“To get the best deal, (all students must participate), obviously I think it is a deal worth considering because I was the one who brought it up to Riley,” Caldwell said.

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