Students, faculty cite issues with electronic versus paper copy books and more
By Emily Croft, Staff Writer
The Day One Program has been both lauded and criticized by students and faculty on campus since its conception four years ago.
The goal of Day One is to provide students with materials for classes without the added rental costs and challenges of acquiring textbooks. Instead, all materials are included as a part of the course fees and are given to the students before classes begin.
However, faculty and staff have posed several critiques of the program.
The program has experienced turbulence with acquiring the correct materials for students before the first day of the semester over the past few years. At the start of the school year, multiple students encountered tardy arrivals for their materials.
“I had a book on backorder, and by the time it finally arrived, the assignment I would have needed the book to complete had already passed,” Jaid Goh, a sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public and computer science double major, said.
This problem also affected the faculty.
“It’s pretty sobering when you have to start a semester without books,” Dr. Timothy Quinn, philosophy professor, noted.
In addition, while faculty members have expressed support for the intentions of the Day One Program, there is still concern with the program’s usage of online books over physical copies.
“All faculty support (the Day One Program’s) objectives,” Dr. Amy Whipple, history department chair, said. “But some faculty have been concerned about the program… and believe they should maintain as much choice as possible when going to order books.”
“There has been a real desire to maintain access to print books when possible,” she added.
According to Follett, digital copies are much more affordable for the program, particularly for science classes that typically deal with higher-priced regularly-revised textbooks.
Meanwhile, for students, the most important difference between an online book and a physical copy is that they can annotate books in ways unavailable via e-book.
“We have had students who have paid out of pocket to get the print copies,” Whipple said. “That is upsetting to us. That seems unfair.”
For professors, e-books signal a disheartening message to students.
“We’re trying to teach students how to build a library, to save books that are worth reading again and again,” Quinn added. “The use of electronic copies works against that powerfully.”
One other concern students raised was the lack of accessibility to materials. Last year, the Day One Program delivered students’ books to their rooms, which students cited as a convenience. But this year, students were expected to pick up their materials from the Center for Innovation.
Day One employees noted that additional changes created staffing complications for the program.
“The one dynamic that changed this fall, compared to the last three years, is the change of location, and some staffing issues,” Bill Moran, senior director of Auxiliary Services, noted.
The move from Gallagher Student Center (GSC) was a result of the largest student number the program has yet seen, as all four classes are a part of the program for the first time in its history.
Leaders within the program added that Day One outgrew the space in GSC they were initially given, which made the move necessary.
Lucy Jones, director for the All for One Shop, also recognized the lack of timeliness of book deliveries.
“The number one issue was supply chain issues, as a lot of our publishers couldn’t get the books printed in a timely manner,” Jones said.
The Day One program hopes that the effects of COVID-19 along with supply chain issues subside and they are able to adapt to their new location in future years to provide materials to students in a more timely manner.