Why are we (still) gatekeeping textbooks from students?


Ricky Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

There’s no reason as to why required textbooks for university/community college classes should cost more than a dime. There’s no reason as to why PDF versions of textbooks should be difficult to access. There’s no reason as to why college students should be required to use textbooks if they’re not going to read more than one chapter from it during the duration of the semester. 

Every year, students complain about the lack of cheap and reliable textbooks available to them — especially low-income students. 

Rightfully so. The number of times I and some of my friends have considered dropping a class because the required texts are too expensive and there are no free PDFs available online is absurd. Not to mention, there are a number of professors who lack empathy and respect for students when it comes to accommodating those who cannot afford a textbook. The gag is they have hella copies at their disposal. 

One of the things that makes many students who are able to access textbooks online very angry is the fact that some professors are vehemently against computers (and their usage) in class. This is fair, considering people in our generation have the attention span of a chihuahua. However, the beef starts when professors want the ACTUAL book to be purchased and don’t accept PDFs. 

Why is this a debate, anyway? Shouldn’t all college students be aware that there are more expenses that come along with being a student other than the occasional shein package? 

I’m glad you asked Kerri – don’t forget the I – from Connecticut that more than likely drives a Jeep Wrangler and has a weekly spending allowance appropriate for three meals a day at Amami. 

Not everyone has the money or resources to be spending on dozens of books each semester! Omg. Shocker. 

This conversation revolves and should center the needs of low-income students. The promise of a liberal arts education is nothing without access to the tools and resources necessary to be even remotely prepared for the harsh microaggressions, lack of respect, but most importantly lack of empathy low-income college students experience. Especially at this University.

Here are some websites that are useful: 



Do better. 

xoxo Ricky <3 (they/them/theirs)

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