Textbook rebellion PHOTO: WRN

A ‘rebellion’ against costly college textbooks made a stop Thursday in Madison. UW professor, Dr. Timothy Paustian, said textbooks are being priced out of the reach of many students. “When I was a student, textbooks were 30 or 50 dollars. That seemed like a fair price back then, but textbooks have gotten more and more and more expensive.”

Sidney Zeller is a UW Madison freshman. She’s spent 500 dollars on textbooks this semester, including one that cost 200 dollars. But she’s lucky compared to some. “I know students that actually just don’t purchase their textbooks,” said Zeller. “They use friends’ textbooks or go to the library or try to get a hold of on-line sources, but a lot of them can’t afford it with the cost of school.”

Nicole Allen, Textbook Advocate for WISPIRG – the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group – will be visiting 40 campuses over the next six weeks, raising awareness and promoting options such as ‘open textbooks’ which are available on-line. She’s accompanied by two giant characters representing the ‘rebellion.’  “The textbooks that are done are first class, they’re really high quality, they’re beautiful texts” said UW’s Paustian, who has produced his own microbiology textbooks. “They’re just charging too much money.”

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