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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/mssa/news/html/textbook_policy.html

Bookstore Offers Textbook Order Policy at MSSA Meeting

by Emmeline Elliott

Issue date: 9/14/06 Section: Campus News

A policy aiming to have bookstore shelves filled with the required textbooks by the start of a semester was introduced to the Minnesota State Student Association Wednesday.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore manager Molly Yunkers and Facilities Service Director David Cowan presented the unendorsed policy to the senate. The policy would install a "default deadline" that would allow departments to place textbook orders for 100-level classes that have a reasonable enrollment projection but have no books ordered yet.

The default deadline would be Aug. 1 for Fall semester and Dec. 1 for Spring semester. The policy only focuses on 100-level classes because "those tend to be classes with the higher enrollment," Yunkers said.

Yunkers said the store's No. 1 source to get used books is from students, but the bookstore will have extra time to get additional used books from other sources when professors turn in textbook orders early.

"What they're paying for their books is becoming more of an issue to students," Yunkers said.

Offering more used books is important as educational costs continue to increase, Yunkers added.

When professors order textbooks late, it does not allow the bookstore to stock that book before classes start, which is a disadvantage to students, Yunkers said.

"We're just trying to get the textbooks on the shelves," Cowan said.

Professors should also order textbooks early so when students sell the book at the end of the semester they will get 50 percent of the book's purchase price if the same book is used the next semester, Yunkers said. If the required textbooks for the following semester are unknown to the bookstore, students will receive the substantially less used book wholesale market price.

Yunkers said that by May 10 only half of textbook orders had been submitted for the next semester. In the policy, it states that "at best only 80 to 85 percent of textbook orders are submitted when the bookstore begins buying back used books at the end of a given semester."

Yunkers said late orders happen because a course section may still need a designated teacher or that faculty members have not yet responded.

Cowan said this may appear as a baby step, but thinks "it's rather revolutionary for this institution."

College of Business Senator Brandon Ross asked that perhaps strict standards could be placed on "lazy" professors who don't get textbook orders in on time, such as a paycut.

A motion was passed to refer the policy to the Academic Affairs Committee, which will study it and make a presentation of its findings at the Sept. 27 MSSA meeting. From there, the MSSA will decide if it will endorse this policy.

Six new senators were sworn into their Minnesota State Student Association positions at yesterday's meeting. An election for the vacant McElroy and Off-Campus seats will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Centennial Student Union 284. Winners of Tuesday's election are: Ken Willaert, College of Science, Engineering and Technology; Nikki Hanna, College of Business; Peter Jennings, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Aaron Lorenzen, Maverick Hall; Amanda Bertelsen, Undeclared; and Katie Ischkin, College of Graduate Studies.