In the first two weeks of school, students have seen improvements in the way our campus operates. Dining Services has made a strong attempt to improve the food options at J Street, the Department of Athletics has introduced a rock-climbing wall and other innovations at the Smith Center, and the Columbian School has revamped the Freshman Advising Workshops’ curriculum.
While these aspects of campus life have changed for the positive, the GW Bookstore continues to sell over-priced books to students who can barely afford tuition increases.
Because prices at the Bookstore failed to go down , the Student Association provided an alternative for students who sought to buy books at lower prices. We publicized the SA Book Exchange and collected a plethora of books while listening to a number of students joke and complain about the Bookstore.
This semester’s Book Exchange sent a strong message to Bookstore and University officials that it is time to address the need for cheaper books. It is inexcusable for the Bookstore to continue its monopolistic practices by selling books at prices significantly higher than those set by publishers.
The Book Exchange set a record by selling more than $15,000 in books during the past week. Students bought books for classes in all parts of the academic community, from the biology department to the business school. Students were able to purchase books for prices that were 20 percent to 80 percent lower than Bookstore prices.
Students hopefully will continue to use the Book Exchange in future semesters because it is an invaluable tool to save money. Those students who were unable to sell books this semester can sell them next semester.
I also hope the Bookstore will realize it is time to either lower prices or suffer a loss in sales because competition such as the Book Exchange and VarsityBooks.com will continue to attract students looking for a better deal.
-The writer is SA vice president for academic affairs.