Building a community through exchanging textbooks

Two things that many students almost always need at the start of every new semester are textbooks and money.

A way for Pierce College to help students with both of these problems would be by providing a textbook exchange program.

The program could be facilitated by the school’s Student Store, and it would involve students selling textbooks to another person the following semester. 

For example, if in the fall semester a student took an English 100 class, that student could then sell the textbook to someone who will take that same class and needs that same textbook in the spring.

With this program, students can be afforded the ability to make some money from their initial purchases while also providing students with a cheaper alternative to a new textbook from the store or online. 

If students are afraid of getting scammed, the program can require would-be sellers to have their textbook meet a necessary condition before being approved for selling. 

This would incentivize students who want to sell their textbooks to keep them in good shape, and it would give buyers confidence in the pre-owned books.

Student2Student is a website that  runs a program similar to this. However, if Pierce was to host one for their students, that would provide the students with another way of engaging with their campus. 

Those students can interact with each other when they sell their class materials and make connections that will allow them to have an easier transition to college life, especially for new students.

Tufts University runs a program like this, and the students have been enthusiastic about participating. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Philp Miller, who helped start the program said that since it began four years ago, it has “facilitated the sale of more than 2,000 textbooks; saved students $177,000.”

The Pierce program could run on the Mall and operate on the first and last week of each semester. 

In a post-pandemic fall semester, many students may feel that they’ll struggle to make connections with others once they return to a physical class setting. 

With many campuses already planning how they will reopen in the fall, Pierce should consider running this program to promote interaction among the student body, while also providing students with an opportunity to make and save some money in the process.