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MAT, or Movement for Affordable Textbooks, is made up of concerned faculty, students, and administrators who are working together to address the high cost of textbooks and other course materials for Vassar students. MAT came out of the Engaged Pluralism Initiative (EPI) Working Group, Inclusive Pedagogy, chaired by Professor Jonathon Kahn. In order to devote more focus to this important topic, in January 2021 MAT became one of the first Project Groups of EPI.
Among its recent accomplishments, MAT members have been gathering information and raising awareness on the Vassar campus. Accomplishment to date include:
The creation of a MAT website to collect and disseminate information to students demystifying the financial awards and textbooks and highlighting options for Vassar students to access and obtain their textbooks: https://library.vassar.edu/MAT
While statistics regarding the impact of the high cost of textbooks is well documented in the media, MAT created and launched a student survey in Spring 2021 to better understand the impact on Vassar students.
One finding was student reliance on the Libraries to gain access to textbook readings. As a result of the survey, MAT encouraged the Libraries to continue the Textbook program.
Awareness has been raised through:
Presentations and discussions in various venues with students and faculty: Library Committee, Chair and Directors meeting, EPI summer student institution presentation by co-chairs Christopher Raymond and Sarah Canino, Summer 2021
Most recently a Talking About Teaching session was held in January 2022 to focus on this issue.
Currently co-chaired by Sarah Canino and Christopher Raymond, MAT meets regularly to plan initiatives. MAT is looking for new members! If you are interested in working with other members of the Vassar community to find solutions to the high cost of course materials at Vassar, contact one of the committee members below to express your interest:
Members for the Spring 2022 semester include:
Zachary Britton, Administrative Assistant, Vassar College Store, email@example.com
Jessica Camacho, ‘24 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Canino, Music Librarian, email@example.com
Lioba Gerhardi, Self Instructional Language Program (SILP) Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Felicity Martin, EPI Program Associate, email@example.com
Yasmin Nijem, '22 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sarah Pearlman, Associate Professor and Chair of Economics, email@example.com
Michelle Quock, Director of the Transitions Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Raymond, Associate Professor of Philosophy, email@example.com
Emma Ritter, Student Financial Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose Rodriguez, ‘24 email@example.com
Reshan Selva. '22 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Catherine Tan, Assistant Professor of Sociology, email@example.com
Pambanisha Whaley, Head of User Services, Vassar College Library, firstname.lastname@example.org