State student interest group protests high textbook costs

High textbook prices have caused junior and sociology major Kate Lavery to struggle in her classes.

“I have a $200 textbook that I haven’t purchased yet just because I don’t have that kind of money,” Lavery said.

“I’ve gotten C’s in classes just because I can’t afford to buy them. A lot of students are going without their textbooks because they can’t afford them.”

Lavery, a student intern with Indiana Public Interest Research Group , and other students protested Wednesday at 10th Street and Fee Lane as part of a national campaign against high textbook prices.

The protest kicked off INPIRG’s fall campaign against textbook prices. Lavery and

Hannah Brown , campus organizer for INPIRG , said they hoped to get 1,000 petition signatures protesting textbook prices throughout the semester.

“The purpose of the protest is to let students know why textbooks are so expensive and what we can do about it,” said Brown.

Brown said a five -company monopoly of the textbook industry has forced many students to pay high prices for textbooks.

Lavery said textbook prices are climbing at four times the rate of inflation, and additional components can tack on extra costs.

“Often, textbooks require CDs or DVDs in addition to the books, in which case, the    bookstores have to order the latest edition of the books,” said Tim Lloyd , textbook manager for T.I.S. College Bookstore .

While Lloyd said he believes textbook prices are too high, he recognizes that faculty are trying to minimize costs for students. He said the math and psychology departments and the business school have been particularly good at getting older editions of books.

“A lot of the faculty are very aware, and they’re doing the best they can,” he said. “But they can’t sacrifice something they feel is necessary.”