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10/25/21  Home > Articles > UMSL Bookstore Will Put You In A Bind

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Title: UMSL Bookstore Will Put You In A Bind
Author: Rob Miley
Date: 8/19/02

I am a senior in the UMSL/Wash U joint engineering program, and have some things to speak out about. While I have encountered several aggravating things while attending school thus far, perhaps none are more annoying than the ripping off of students by school bookstores. My anger is not only directed at the overpricing of textbooks that are required to be purchased if you want a passing grade, but the fact that it is a rare occasion in which the university buys them back. For instance:

I now have the burden of either throwing out thick, useless textbooks that I do not need or allowing them to take up precious space in my living quarters in the rare event that I may actually use one of them at some point. Why do I have this problem? The bookstore does not want to buy any of them back. Some reasons for this include:

"I'm sorry, but we already have too many copies of that particular textbook onhand and therefore do not need to take back any more."

And my personal favorite: "I'm sorry, but there is a new edition of that textbook that has recently been published, and we do not buy back old editions."

That is funny, considering I just used that outdated textbook to study for the final exam which I had just finished taking. Of all the moneymaking schemes performed by these institutions, I think that publishing new editions of textbooks every semester is on the top of the list. If this has happened to you, try comparing a new 7th edition with the ancient 6th edition. Find any groundbreaking new information? Doubt it--they just wanted to switch a few chapters around and change the numbers on the homework and example problems.

My solution for this problem? Include textbooks as a fee along with the "Instructional Computing Fee" and "Student Health Fee" and other b.s. that they charge you for when you are registered for classes and allow your student card to dictate which books are included when you buy them. That is, if you are registered for "American History I, Calculus I, and English Comp I", swiping your student card at the bookstore should bring up those 5 texts (Yes, 5 textbooks for 3 classes. Anyone else taken Comp I yet?) as included in your student fees and therefore alleviating you from the need to pull out the cash or credit cards that are so valuable for students who cannot work full time. Why would this be so difficult to establish? Let me know what you think.


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