TLR Editorial: Hit the Books

High book prices at the campus bookstore. Photo by Roger Gilson.

On Oct. 3, Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) and Neebo, the company that runs the campus bookstore, held an open forum to discuss issues that arose with the students, faculty and the materials needed for classes this semester.

Despite the overwhelming concern of book prices, delayed shipping and an inaccurate number of books being ordered, to name some of the most egregious complaints made by the academic and student communities, there were only a dozen faculty members and even less students in attendance.

We at The Little Rebellion believe the turnout of faculty and students at the forum was abysmal and not representative of the passion displayed by those who had voiced their displeasure with the campus bookstore.

The bookstore suffered after the impact Hurricane Irene left on the Hudson Valley last year. That was what led to a number of the issues present this year. When the bookstore owned up to their follies, we as a campus community should have gone and listened to them after giving them so much flack.

It’s easy to get frustrated with what happened at the bookstore. Professors who send in book orders have every right to expect that those books will be there for their students on time and available for the first day of classes. Students have every right to expect the books they need to be at the campus bookstore when they need them, unless their professor says otherwise.

You have every right to be angry if those expectations are not met or exceeded.

But if you’re that upset with your experience, don’t you want to know why it happened and how it’s going to be fixed? You should.

The bookstore took the time to acknowledge and explain how and why they messed up. It was our job as a campus community to listen. The number of complaints that the bookstore received was by no means backed up by the amount of people who attended the forum. It is a tremendous disappointment for a community that prides itself on its willingness to change and be forward-thinking.

While we do acknowledge that having a forum at the middle of the day on a Wednesday can be problematic for students and professors, we also realize that Wednesdays are not the most common day for classes. First-year students especially find their Wednesdays empty, and they are a demographic the bookstore caters to regularly.

CAS and the bookstore cannot be faulted for lack of effort in getting people to attend. A campus-wide email was sent out to say where and when the forum would be held. Everyone got it and everyone should have known about it.

The complaints about the bookstore will continue, but at least the reasons for it happening were brought into the open. We only hope that the next time a forum like this is held for our benefit, students and faculty members will take advantage of it and get informed.

 

 

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