STAFF EDITORIAL | Unclear system adds costs

On the first day of classes, a student strolls into class with her books and materials.

Glancing over the syllabus, she realizes with horror that the e-book she bought for her chemistry class is unnecessary.

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common, and Butler University students are footing the bill.

The Butler bookstore and professors need to open channels of communication so they can prevent these situations from happening.

Online, the Bookstore offers cheaper, electronic versions of textbooks.

But when some students arrive for class, their professors tell them they need a physical copy of the book.

So now these students wasted money on a textbook they won’t use and have to buy another, more expensive copy.

Bookstore Manager Janine Frainier acknowledges that these miscommunications occur.

Last-minute additions and cancellations of books, incorrect orders and hung-up, unshipped orders have all happened, she said.

Aside from these usual issues, the bookstore’s operator, Follett, launched a new online system to minimize out-of-stock items.

The bookstore also has a new course materials manager, Scott Zurcher.

Still, these vast changes in the bookstore’s structure do not absolve it from the costly mistakes made.

If the bookstore management knew about the revamped online shopping system, it should have informed students about this change so they would keep a closer eye on the progress of their orders.

The bookstore had the entire summer to prepare for these orders and note any flaws in the system.

Compounding the internal issues the bookstore faces, professors sometimes do not clearly communicate the necessary texts before students enter the classroom.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that some professors allow e-books and others do not.

Whatever stance the professor takes on e-books, the bookstore still presents the e-book as an option.

So unless professors delineate their stance on e-books to their students before they arrive, students can purchase the wrong version of the book.

Either professors need to better communicate their preferences to the bookstore and students, or Faculty Senate should make a campus-wide mandate about e-books.

Otherwise, students will continue ordering the wrong books.

In the midst of all this miscommunication, students stand bewildered.

But instead of only venting their rage to their friends, students should speak up to the bookstore and their professors.

This call for open communication between professors and the bookstore does make the student body responsible for airing its concerns.

“We apologize for any inconvenience and strongly encourage any student that is experiencing trouble with orders to visit or contact the bookstore,” Frainier said.

If students have experienced any issues, they should follow Janine’s advice.

Once students express their frustrations to those responsible, maybe the campus will see some improvements made.

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