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December 5, 2023

Letters to the Editor, March 12

Standing up for Asian Americans

The Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the National Japanese American Citizens League (W-SC JACL) is sincerely grateful for the support expressed in Theo Wierdsma’s column entitled, “Xenophobia erupting,” and to the Pajaronian for publishing it on Feb. 26.

We thank Theo Wierdsma for speaking out strongly against the racial hate attacks against Asian Americans erroneously blamed for the Covid-19 pandemic because of the references made by the former U.S. President.

Mr. Wierdsma’s informative, historical references are right to the point, and we appreciate his courageous and compassionate outreach and support. Thank you for being a loyal friend.

Mas and Marcia Hashimoto, W-SC JACL

The affordability of college textbooks 

As we approach the one year mark of the pandemic and the shutdown of universities across the country one thing has become clear: textbooks and homework platforms are overwhelmingly expensive to college students. More and more professors across the nation are starting to rely solely on online learning materials and platforms that result in costs that students simply cannot pay. The average cost of textbooks can range from $200-400 and for a full college course load this can amount to up to $2,000 a year. Students over the years have been innovative about finding alternatives like sharing, renting, and buying used books. However as more and more students find themselves unable to keep up with the unfair prices of textbooks, and are starting to look for alternative methods, textbook companies and platforms are catching on and using methods like single use access codes for textbooks and homework platforms. 

In my own experience I have had to use single use access codes to purchase access to do my homework. Although I only needed access to the homework, the site would not allow me to purchase anything less than a textbook and homework bundle which amounted to over $100 for just one class in a single quarter in the school year. So how do we support these struggling students, both through their journey through online learning and beyond? 

The solution is open textbooks, that are high quality, free to read, and cheap to print. Because they are written under an open license they are able to be shared and utilized by professors. Classes that have utilized open textbooks have seen an improvement in student performance and completion. This need and urgency for open textbooks is clear, it’s unfair to allow some students to be disadvantaged in school simply because they can’t afford to pay huge costs to do their homework or have access to required materials. The solution to this issue is implementable, possible, and has proven to be successful, and it’s time we begin implementing this change now.

Nisha Ahmed, CALPIRG Students

The Pajaronian welcomes letters. Letters and columns may be dropped off or mailed to The Pajaronian, 21 Brennan St., Suite 18, Watsonville, CA 95076. Letters and columns may also be sent via email to [email protected]. Letters should be less than 300 words, and columns are no more than 700 words. All letters and columns must be signed and have an address and phone number for confirmation purposes. We reserve the right to edit and condense all submissions.


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