With the start of a new semester comes preparing for new classes: buying school supplies, signing up for classes, moving in…and of course, buying your books. Students often experience long lines and having to shell out lots of cash for a single book, but it seems lately that problems with the University Bookstore have been a lot worse. In almost every single class, someone is complaining about their books. But what exactly are the problems? Is it the cost of books that’s been irritating students? Or are the Bookstore’s changing policies more to blame?
The answer to this question is very much both. Even the prices of used and rental books have increased this semester. “I don’t use the bookstore. On average I save $40-$50 per book by ordering my books from Amazon and Half.com,” Parkside sophomore Alex Kasper commented. Indeed, this seems to be a good strategy for students looking to save money.
High prices aside, there are other factors students are complaining about. Sophomore and transfer student from UW-River Falls, Lianna Wagner, recently experienced a fiasco whilst ordering her books; she paid to have three used books rush shipped to her house, and two days after she was supposed to receive them the Bookstore called her telling her to pick them up at the store. Wagner arrived promptly only to find that she had to buy two of those books brand new and one of them had been sold to another student!
“When I went to River Falls, we checked out our books at the beginning of the semester and returned them at the end of the semester. It was much more convenient and saved me a lot of money,” Wagner says. Though situations like these happen sometimes, its very frustrating. UW-River Falls, Platteville, and Whitewater all have similar checkout and return policies that save students lots of money.
One important factor to note though is that at the beginning of the semester, books haven’t arrived yet for many classes. Although this is causing many students frustration, it is not the fault of the bookstore; it is the fault of the publisher. By this time, most books should be in stock.
However, to make matters worse, the recent announcement that the Bookstore is temporarily suspending buyback procedures has angered students even more. Good news is, this is only temporary, and the reason for this is to stop theft; apparently, students have been stealing other students’ books to sell back for the profit. After a proper receipt system is established, the buybacks will resume.
Hopefully, after this change is made, prices will go down a little bit and things will get less hectic for the Bookstore. By the end of the semester, it is hoped that things will be running a lot smoothly and students will have minimal complaints.
Story by Rachel DePalma