The College is currently exploring an option which will save the school a great deal of money on the Bookstore’s textbook costs, making the textbook system altogether more profitable for the College. Wooster is considering a contract with a new overseas company, Discount Books, which would provide textbooks for every discipline at a very low cost to the College.
The textbooks are written by the company’s own writers in a factory overseas. Their website claims the writers are, “young, educated and enthusiastic to make the American schoolbook.” Because all writers work for Discount Books and produce at a fast rate, costs are significantly lowered per book. Textbooks are sold in bulk packages by college major. The packages include every textbook an undergraduate student will need in their educational career, so professors will no longer need to select their own variety of textbooks and students will all receive an equal education.
The company also strives to be environmentally friendly with the creation of their textbooks. Every page is printed on a very thin style of paper, which is not only biodegradable, but also aquadegradable. They can also be used as Kleenex. Though this may cause some difficulty to the enthusiastic, page-turning reader, or the student who is clumsy with their coffee, the company believes the benefits to the environment (and the cost of production) heavily outweigh the disadvantages.
There is a great deal of debate about whether these textbooks are the same quality as previously sold books, especially among professors involved with U.S. history and political science. However, the College continues to consider a contract with the company, feeling that the money saved by the school will only benefit the students’ experience. If the College agrees to contract with Discount Books, the Bookstore will never again have to deal with selling back unsold books, as one package per student will be ordered, and the cost of the books will be included into tuition at a rate unknown to students. Unfortunately, current Bookstore employees will also be subject to removal at the hands of Discount Books, which will have the option to hire their own employees for the positions.
Students are currently protesting this new textbook outsourcing. The head of the student protesters wants to remain anonymous, but commented, “We want different classes with different books, not lower quality books riddled with misspellings that are the same for every student. Next thing you know, we’ll stop getting textbooks altogether and they’ll ask us to write them ourselves.” Voice your opinion on the issue at the next textbook outsourcing meeting on April 1, 2014.