The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) Textbook Exchange Program (TEP) opened Tuesday, Feb.  9, and will run until Thursday, Feb. 18 in the University Organizing Center’s (UOC) parking lot at 190 High Street. The program is a part of the Textbook Exchange Network (TEN), an organization that enables collaboration between universities to make textbooks more accessible to students. On campus, the program is operating with the same precautions as last semester to minimize in-person contact while still fulfilling its mission of allowing students to buy and sell used textbooks at lower prices. 

“I don’t think anything has changed from last semester,” Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) Chair & TEP Executive Director Ben Garfield ’22 said. “The real difference is last semester, we didn’t have a way to be open for the first week of classes because obviously the quarantine was a little bit different, but we are open starting [Tuesday, Feb. 9] and the reason we can do that is because someone who was here all break, and so is not in quarantine, is able to run the thing.”

In comparison to previous semesters, however, the Fall 2020 TEP saw a significant decrease in student participation. Garfield attributed this decrease in sales to a delayed opening until the second week of classes as a result of the all-campus quarantine. 

“Because we started it being available in the second week of classes, a lot of people had already needed their books, and so we didn’t sell nearly as many as I think we would have otherwise,” Garfield said. “I think we sold something like 30 books in the fall and the previous fall we sold 150 books, so that’s a pretty significant decrease.”

Despite the decrease in sales, the organizers are hopeful that students will continue to take advantage of TEP as a resource.

Students who want to purchase books can visit the list of available textbooks, reserve the texts they want to purchase, and then sign up for a 15-minute time slot for pick up and payment. The time slots accommodate a maximum of five people at a time to minimize the risk of exposure. 

“During this pandemic and also post-pandemic, I’m just hoping that students know about the program first and foremost and are able to know that they are able to access it whenever they’d like to just as long as they follow the COVID guidelines and all of the instructions that we have in place for the program,” former AAC Chair and current TEP Director of Operations Jake Kwon ’21 said. “Once that happens, I think, even though there will be less people being able to go to the exchange because of the limits that we have in time spots, I’m hoping that…the numbers will kind of stabilize.”

For students looking to sell their old textbooks, the TEP will collect books in May to be sold at the beginning of the fall semester. 


Hallie Sternberg can be reached at or on Twitter @halsternberg.

Comments are closed