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UA News

UA book policy still hard to enforce

By Daniel Scarpinato

Thursday August 23, 2001 |

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Some instructors still prefer independent bookstores

Over two years after the UA adopted a policy requiring instructors to give their course book lists to the UofA Bookstore, some instructors are still not ordering through the bookstore.

University of Arizona policy states each instructor "must provide in a timely fashion the list of all books required for the course to the (UofA Bookstore)."

The policy does not state that instructors cannot place books orders through other stores, but it does say that they must always place them with the UA in addition to any other bookstores.

Caryl Flinn, a UA women's studies professor, said she believes there are faculty in the women's studies department who give Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., their booklists, but as far as she knows, those instructors all provide the UofA Bookstore with a copy of the list as well.

"The ruling of that was that books be available at both the UofA Bookstore as well as the other bookstore that the instructor chooses to go through," Flinn said.

Antigone carries various women's studies texts including "Second Wave," a book listed for Women's Studies 305.

The UofA Bookstore, however, has never received an order for that class or that book this semester, a representative said.

The controversy over instructors ordering their textbooks solely through the university bookstore became an issue after a student's mother complained about her daughter being sent to Antigone to buy texts.

One of Tucson's few independent bookstores, Antigone is highly supported by the English and women's studies departments.

In some cases, such as the incident that sparked the institution of the policy, the required literature from Antigone has been about gender studies.

Rep. Linda Gray, R-Ariz., who came out in support of the policy, said that was not the main issue for putting the mandate into place.

"That really wasn't the important aspect," she said. "However, this student had signed up for a women's literature course and was not told it would be a celebration of the gay and lesbian community."

Gray said instructors should be "up front" about the content of their courses, and they should practice "truth in advertising."

She said an instructor's failure to do this should be viewed as "insubordination."

"I would hope that the (university) treats the policy the same way that they would any other policy," she said.

Gray said the mandate is important because students need to be given the convenience of having their textbooks available on campus, but it should be their choice whether or not they want to buy through another bookstore.

For this reason, Gray supports instructors' right to send their booklists to other bookstores and let students decide where they want to shop.

"I don't think that it is right for the university, or anyone, to have a monopoly over book sales to students," she said. "I would be more pleased if there were a number of bookstores that students could choose from and get the best price, rather than only being able to buy through the university bookstore."


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