MUSG passes book rental recommendation

Marquette Student Government is investigating a way for students to acquire textbooks the same way people acquire movies from Blockbuster for the weekend: a rental program.

MUSG approved its last recommendation of the 2009-’10 term —Recommendation No. 7: “The Follett Textbook Rental Program” — before saying farewell on Thursday.

Follett, the university’s textbook vendor company, currently offers students the option to buy new or used books on Marquette’s campus. Senator Bill Doerrer, co-author of the recommendation, said Follett’s textbook rental program will give students another option.

According to Doerrer, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, students expressed interest in exploring other textbook options in the recent MUSG survey. He said the newly launched program would reduce the cost of books by 50 percent.

Senator Giuseppe Pappalardo said he feels reducing the price of books would significantly help the student population.

“Especially considering the rival cost of tuition, students have expressed that cutting costs in other ways would be extremely effective,” said Pappalardo, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

According to Follett’s survey results from seven pilot university bookstore locations in the fall 2009 term, their textbook rental program saved students $2 million on their course materials. Ninety-seven percent of students surveyed indicated satisfaction with the company’s Rent-A-Text program.

Senator Adam Ryback, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences said he was in favor of the recommendation because the program would allow the option of renting textbooks, but it would not force students to do so.

Doerrer said the only disadvantage to the program is that materials like workbooks and study guides will not be eligible for rent. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Seniors and other exiting members also expressed their gratitude to the Senate for things accomplished during the year.

“I hope you continue to stay (on Senate) and keep the momentum going with these projects,” said Pappalardo. “I hope you do great things, I know you will.”

President Henry Thomas, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, reflected on the efforts started or accomplished by MUSG during his term. These projects include things such as updated, larger eMarq accounts, extended library hours and recreation center initiatives.