Student Council discusses book prices, WEPA printing, student Social Security numbers


Book prices too high?

Brooke Higdon, purchasing manager at Montgomery College, is aware that some students cannot afford books, he told The Advocate. According to Higdon, the most affordable solution is to rent used books. However, this is not always possible. Loose-leaf books and workbooks, for example, cannot be rented or resold post-ownership when they more likely to be full of handwriting. The “Textbook Adoption Cycle,” he said at the recent Student Council meeting, is a way for professors to help keep book costs down for their students by putting the choice of textbooks in professors’ hands.

Everything starts when the faculty makes the decision of selecting one or several books for their classes and choosing the current or one of the newer editions.

The MC bookstore pays up to 50 percent in for used books. However, the supply of used textbooks is limited to whatever is sold back, making supply constraints very easy.

Kathleen Carey-Fletcher, director of auxiliary services, acknowledges and believes that students should always be able to buy the books they need in order to have access to an education. If a student isn’t able to buy the book, they are not having full access to an education, she said.

WEPA printing

Carey-Fletcher also discussed the WEPA system used at Montgomery College. The WEPA system allows students to print documents at any WEPA kiosk place around campus for a fee. Concerns discussed from a couple of students were the insufficient amount of kiosks placed on campus. Carey-Fletcher acknowledged that “MC has a limited quantity of machines” and that “they can be relocated.” The Student Council will be looking into strategically moving WEPA kiosks with low usage to make better use of them.

Students voiced their concerns with the need to purchase a $2 or $5 WEPA print card in order to print one or two pages, a job that costs as low as 20 cents.

Another concern held by many students is the frustration of losing or misplacing their WEPA print card. “Every single student has a WEPA account,” Carey-Fletcher said, although few students know they have one. The WEPA system allows students to add money into their own account without the need to purchase a print card.

Social security

According to Gabriela Rodriguez, president of the Student Council, 60 percent of Montgomery College students do not have their Social Security number on file. Only two percent of those without a number in the school system do not have a one or refuse to provide it to Montgomery College admissions.

Social Security numbers are needed by the college to receive funding from the government. If Montgomery College isn’t able to provide a certain amount of Social Security numbers to reflect the number of enrolled students, tuition costs risk going up, Rodriguez said.

A student is able to check whether or not their Social Security number is on file by going to the admissions office.

Jessica Marquez also contributed to this report.