SGA hosts textbook exchange town hall


Jessica Silverman

SGA Vice President for Academic Affairs Hanna Nuttall gave a presentation on the new program.

Jessica Silverman, news staff

The Student Government Association, or SGA, held a town hall Tuesday to discuss its new textbook exchange program and answer student questions about the initiative.

SGA Vice President for Academic Affairs Hanna Nuttall gave a presentation on the new program, which she said will allow students to buy and sell their textbooks for cheaper prices than ones they can find on sites like Amazon and Chegg.

“[The program is] a non-profit textbook recycling program aimed at decreasing the cost of textbooks for students by eliminating any intermediary who is profiting off any student-to-student textbook sales,” Nuttall said. “We are not even taking a transaction fee, so this is completely free to students. We’re not taking any money from the Student Activity Fee or anything like that.”

She said determining the price of the textbook will be based on its value and condition. 

“[The price is] going to be a formula based off of the market value of the book. Essentially we’re going to look at what it’s selling for on Amazon and sell it for a percentage of that price,” Nuttall said. “So you’re going to get more than the buyback value that Amazon would give you, but it would be cheaper for other students than if they were to buy it from Amazon.”

The transactions will be conducted through the phone payment app Venmo, where students can set up an account using an email and a U.S. phone number. Nuttal explained that in the future, the exchange may open  to other payment methods. 

“We’re operating off a Venmo system, at least for this exchange. We’re going to try to get cash and other payment methods for future exchanges, but it just wasn’t feasible this time around with the university. Cash payments will only be accepted on a limited basis,” Nuttal said. 

Students will be able to see which textbooks are available for purchase on the program’s website before the Textbook Fair in January. 

“You’ll be able to view all of the textbooks that we have in the current database, so when you come to the fair you can know what is already there and what to look for,” said Russell Plumb, SGA’s director of information management. “It will also be live and updated, so as books are purchased, those books will be removed from the list. It’ll only show books available for purchase.”

Third-year business administration major Richard Li is a senator for SGA and participates often in Nuttal’s Academic Affairs committee. Li went to the town hall and said he appreciated that some students made the effort to come and learn about the program. 

“The majority of [town hall attendees] I recognized from committee meetings on a weekly basis, [but] there were a couple of new faces which is always a positive,” Li said. “You always want to hear constituents. Even one new voice is very important. I know [the program is] something that [Nuttall] has been working tirelessly on for a while now, so it’s great to see her project going.”

Students can bring textbooks they want to sell to the Curry Student Center, Room 332, any day between Dec. 5 and Dec. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. The Textbook Fair, where students can buy textbooks, will occur in the Curry Student Center, Room 333, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 8, 10 and 13.