Don’t bash the bookstore

EDITORIAL: Frustrated, fed-up and furious students waited in line for hours this fall to obtain their textbooks, but despite the baffling backlog, the bookstore is not entirely to blame.

Amarillo College’s recent change in the bookstore sales system clearly backfired in a “textbook” case of good intentions and poor results.

Rather than cursing and complaining, however, the situation offers the chance to re-evaluate and move forward by examining all the factors that contributed to the confusion and long lines.

Previously, students would go online to print out their book lists, show them to a bookstore employee and be handed the books they needed.

In an attempt to improve and streamline this process, AC set up a system where students would drop off their orders, receive a text message stating their order was ready, arrive at the bookstore and be handed their books.

This idea sounds revolutionary and life changing – but unfortunately left students enraged, exhausted and effervescing with anger.

It’s not surprising that many students lashed out, complaining that the bookstore screwed everything up; however, we, The Ranger staff, are here to urge you to appreciate the bookstore’s drive to innovate and examine how we all contributed to the situation.

In addition to the new system, AC’s West Campus closed its bookstore this summer, leaving the Washington Street Campus with more than double the average number of students seeking books.

This news was shared via email, but frighteningly enough, many students do not check their email regularly, so they did not plan ahead.

Email is the primary way the college sends important information, and students who do not read their email may suffer as a result.

Also, it is not uncommon for students to wait until the last minute to purchase their books adding to the crowds and chaos.

Everyone arrived at once, which obviously overloaded the abilities of the bookstore staff.

Planning ahead is a key skill that college students should master.

Yet another contributing factor is the fact that AC releases financial aid to students who qualify all on the same day, causing a vast majority to rush to the bookstore all at once.

We urge the college to look for ways to eliminate that last-minute onslaught of purchasers.

Perhaps the bookstore could develop a system that credits purchases to financial aid in advance of the actual award. Students, if you have extra financial aid money, save some for the next semester’s textbooks.

That way, you won’t be a part of the dreadful last-minute book rush.

Students, instead of lashing out at the bookstore for trying something new, think about changes you can make to improve this process as a whole.

We implore you to check your emails, purchase your books earlier whenever possible and find ways to save last semester’s financial aid to purchase the next semester’s books.

The bookstore staff realizes this system utterly failed and has announced it will not be used again – but we should not condemn bookstore personnel for trying a potentially innovative solution.

College is chaotic and the bookstore situation can easily be called a fiasco, but we urge you to do your part in controlling the chaos.

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