USS, Administration Work to Give Students E-Readers
Some New School students may soon be taking their readings to class on an e-book reader like the Nook, if an initiative backed by the University Student Senate takes hold.
The idea comes out of a meeting that the co-chairs of the USS – Bronwyn Lewis, Katherine Towell and Melissa Holmes – had with President David Van Zandt, Senior Vice President for Student Services Linda Reimer, and other administration members during their bi-weekly meeting on September 30. The co-chairs brought up student concerns regarding sustainability and print credit, and also mentioned that some students expressed a desire to apply unused print credit toward something like an e-book.
After students shared their concerns, Towell and Holmes worked together and decided to further discuss the possibility of students owning their own e-book readers for classes. The idea is to allow students to forgo print credit in exchange for an e-reader, which they can use to use to download assigned readings for class, as well as purchase textbooks.
Although this issue is still in preliminary stages, the USS co-chairs are working with the administration in brainstorming ways to make the program practical. The first stage would consist of a trial run to determine how many students would be interested.
“From our personal experience, a lot of the reading assigned at The New School is in PDF format or the text books might even be offered at a massive discount electronically,” Lewis said. “So in terms of student economics and environmental initiatives, it's an issue worth exploring.”
According to Van Zandt, the administration is committed to environmental sustainability, and considers the potential program as a way to decrease the university’s carbon footprint.
“It was really the sustainability initiative that got our attention where we started thinking about the whole E-reader idea,” Towell added.
The co-chairs and administration have been in the process of sharing ideas, but so far, there is no formal plan.
“One of our primary interests is learning how we might encourage student input to develop this initiative, as well as other initiatives in the future” said Holmes.
Each student is given $150 of print credits per semester. Any money used past this point is subtracted from student accounts.