A new campaign launched by the UNBSU to show faculty members how expensive textbooks are is getting noticed by students.
Textbroke is a campaign which began in early September to measure how students get their textbooks and how much they pay for them. This includes an online survey for students to fill out about their textbook-buying experiences. There were banners set up on campus for passing students to write how much they pay for textbooks.
Katie Beers, the external vice president of the UNBSU who came up with the idea of Textbroke, said that over 328 students have filled out the online survey.
“It’s been really great, that’s probably the most engagement we’ve gotten on a student survey in a long time in terms of one that the Student Union has put out,” said Beers.
She said just by looking at the hundreds of survey responses, she knows some students have paid up to $2,000 for textbooks for just one term.
“We’ve averaged it out and the average price for a textbook currently is $110,” said Beers.
Beers estimated that in the past four years, she has spent over $1,200 on textbooks.
This isn’t surprising to fourth year UNB student Brianna Robinson, who had to pay $414.16 for two textbooks this term.
“They’re obviously ridiculously overpriced, especially when new editions are brought out and there’s barely any difference from the last one,” said Robinson.
One response that frequently appeared on the survey was when students did not buy their textbook, they hoped for the best.
“It’s shocking to see how many students say that. I think it’s shocking to me, but I think it would be more impactful for profs to see that, if they can’t afford the textbook, then they just hope for the best in the course,” said Beers.
Students sometimes turn to Facebook to purchase their textbooks on groups like “UNB used textbooks” which has almost 5,000 members. Both Robinson and Beers love the group, and have benefited from it many times.
“I think it’s a great way to really tackle this issue of used textbooks as a campus community and find cheaper ways,” said Beers. “
“And it both allows students to spend less on books and sell the books that they’ve had for a year.”
Beers plans to close down the online survey so she can put her data together and submit her findings to the UNB faculty.
“I hope that our profs will see this data and take it to heart and do something about the way that they use their course materials.”