HSU physics major Noah Dunkley (left) and chemistry major Emilia McCann chat as they wait for students to finish class in the hallways of Science A on Jan. 22, 2018. Photo by Megan Bender.

Affordable textbooks for an awesome cause


With a new semester comes a need for new textbooks and class texts. One club on campus, the Society for Women in Math and Sciences (SWiMS), is offering students an affordable book purchasing option.

Carla Quintero, the president of SWiMS, explains the offer.

“We are here selling used books which were donated by several people,” Quintero said. “We’re trying to raise money to fund our club’s events.”

The society has high hopes their book sales will provide students with a much better alternative than the Humboldt State Bookstore or Amazon.

“I think we can all agree that the bookstore is already overpriced,” Quintero said. “Most people try to find other sources, such as Amazon, to purchase their textbooks. We are selling our books at a fraction of an Amazon textbook price.”

SWiMS will be using the money raised from book sales to create educational and community-building events for HSU.

“SWiMS hosts several different events throughout the semester, one of them being Codernoon,” Quintero said. “We have computer science majors who are running this event and teaching people how to code in Python.”

The club hosts Codernoon twice a week and offers refreshments to participants.

“Through these workshops, we are trying to break the stigma that coding and computer science is a boys club,” Quintero said. “Coding is accessible and fun. Everyone should learn how to do it!”

In addition to Codernoon, SWiMS will be using money from book sales to fund Crafternoons, which are crafting events that occur for two hours every other week.

SWiMS provides participants with crafting materials and lessons on knitting and crocheting. They also offer a space for participants to interact with other majors and destress from their heavy workloads.

Specifically for STEM majors, Crafternoon hopes to be a space for this group to interact with people outside of their majors. The purpose here is to create a community SWiMS is aiming to establish in their role of being a support group.

One major event that SWiMS has been pushing to put on annually is a workshop called You Belong Here.

“In this workshop, we try to inform STEM majors about imposter syndrome, stereotype threat and provide students with the tools to combat these things,” Quintero said. “With these tools, students can move through their respective fields feeling empowered and welcomed because everyone should have the same access to science and math.”

Money raised from book sales will also be used to host You Belong Here in March.

To Quintero, being apart of SWiMS means the world to her. As a woman of color in physics, it can be disheartening at times.

“It can be hard to see yourself in a career when you don’t see anyone else like you in that career,” Quintero said. “The point of SWiMS is for everyone to realize that, while women’s population in the sciences may be small, they still are an important part of the scientific community.”

Purchasing books from SWiMS will provide the club with the funding to continue their mission of supporting underrepresented groups in the sciences. These include women, people of color, LGBTQIA and other individuals in their scientific journey at HSU.

Linh Pham is affiliated with Society for Women in Math and Sciences. 

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