SGA one step closer to free book loans

Kaye Burnet | The Duquesne Duke University Core textbooks can cost students hundreds of dollars each semester.

Kaye Burnet | The Duquesne Duke
University Core textbooks can cost students hundreds of dollars each semester.

By Casey Chafin | The Duquesne Duke

Starting next semester, Duquesne students will have an alternative to buying or renting books for University Core classes.

The Student Government Association plans to hold a crowdsourcing fundraiser for the Student Loan Initiative Program, with a goal of purchasing three copies of books for 10 different UCOR classes, according to President John Foster.

“I said, how can we benefit all students?” Foster told The Duke. “And the best way to do that is the UCOR program…Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, you have to take them at some point.”

He said the total fundraising goal is $1,500 and SGA has already made a contribution of $500 from its budget to purchase one copy of every book.

The rest of the money will be raised by sending out a link to Duquesne students asking for contributions, similar to raising money through the GoFundMe website.

“I want this to be a campus-wide initiative,” he said. “Just imagine…the average donation is $4, so just think about what you spend in a day with $4. That’s like sacrificing Starbucks for a day.”

Once purchased, the books would go to the library, where students can check them out for a two or three-hour timeframe, according to Foster.

“The success is really contingent upon donors,” he said. “We’re not asking for large donors, we’re asking people to make this one-time contribution that benefits all Duquesne students in some way.”

If the fundraising effort fails to reach its goal, Foster said he will give priority to purchasing the books that are for the most popular classes.

The program is available to all students, regardless of financial status.

“It’s not going to erase the large financial burden that books become,” he said, “but it helps alleviate it in some way.”

Several students greeted the possibility of a shared book collection with mixed thoughts when asked if they would take advantage of the program.

“I wouldn’t,” said freshman Brenna Flanigan. “I study at, like, two in the morning. I have a really weird schedule, so I don’t think I would.”

Freshman accounting and finance major Ethan Hudson said he thinks the idea of loaning UCOR books is a good one.

“I would probably do it for the UCOR classes, not the majors though,” Hudson said. “I feel like having your own personal book for your major would be beneficial.”

Hudson and fellow freshman accounting major Allison Starr both agreed that they would consider donating money to the program.

“I would if I knew other people were,” Starr said. “Just so I know it’s reliable, I’m not just giving my money to anything.”

Foster said the month-long fundraiser will kick-off at the beginning of October and the books will be available for students to borrow at the start of the spring semester.

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