Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Non-Profit Bookstore? Yes Please.

GW is not a cheap university by any stretch of the imagination. Not only do we as students pay huge fees and large accommodation bills but also there are other hidden costs which push our bank accounts to the brink.

Mandatory GWorld accounts are one such example. Students are expected to put a certain amount of money on their GWorld and can then only use this so called Colonial Cash in certain places. In my mind such a system is only in place to help fund the poor quality eating establishments found in J Street. Would these places even be able to remain open if there wasn't this forced group of customers?

Another hidden cost, and one that deservedly has a lot of bad press, is the GW Bookstore. Every college students knows that they are going to have to buy textbooks and they know it’s going to cost them a lot. However the question I find myself asking is why, at such an expensive University, is our bookstore not non-profit?

The situation is made even worse by the fact that the bookstore is so far from being non-profit that is often more expensive than other outlets. For those of you who sensibly spend your time looking around for the cheapest deal on your textbooks there is now an easier way Created by an industrious student, the website allows you to type in your course number and will search online for the cheapest place to buy the books you need.

Obviously this is a great tool, but I feel that considering the amount we already pay to this University the GW Bookstore needs to change. It must become more affordable and be less focused on making a profit. Simple solutions, like half price buy back on all books, would be away of changing that depressing start of semester outgoing, to an invigorating end of semester windfall!

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