Credit: File | Mustang News

A new University Bookstore program will automatically charge students for course materials if they do not opt-out by Thursday, Jan. 16.

In classes participating in Poly Access, students are given access to digital course materials for free on the first day of class through the add/drop date, according to University Spokesperson Matt Lazier. After that, students will be charged for the course materials unless they opt-out and find the materials elsewhere.

Students were emailed about Poly Access from Follett Higher Education on Jan. 6 and by the University Store director on Jan. 14, according to Lazier. Representatives also visited classes to discuss the pilot program with students. 

If a student misses the email and does not opt-out of the program by the add/drop date, their student account will be charged.

Business administration senior Jake Satterlee said at first he thought the emails about Poly Access were phishing scams. 

“The time pressure and format of the email makes me believe it is fake. And it went to my junk [folder], so I wouldn’t have seen it if not notified by others,” Satterlee said. “Students were not given proper time to prepare and make an informed decision,”

Poly Access is being tested in 76 class sections this quarter with 3,100 students using the program. 

While Poly Access is being billed as a way to save up to 60 percent on digital textbooks, business administration junior Austin Nix said the program takes away students’ right to purchase course materials themselves. 

“Many students utilize online resources, used books from friends etcetera as their source for course material. The communication or lack thereof from Cal Poly regarding this manner has been hesitant and unclear, I had to look through my spam folder to opt-out officially.”

Poly Access was presented to the Academic Senate, the ASI president, the ASI Board of Directors, the provost and the Provost’s Council during Fall quarter, according to Lazier. Half of the California State University campuses are currently using the program.

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