Ross wants to drop USS book sale

Breanne George

Bill Ross, executive director of the Undergraduate Student Senate, wants to discontinue the book exchange due to the steady decline of student buyers and sellers, he said at yesterday’s USS meeting.

“Usership has fallen since mid-2004 due to other online retailers,” Ross said. “We’ve put forth a lot of money in advertising that produced no results.”

Advertisements have taken the form of ads in the Daily Kent Stater and commercials on TV-2. Ross said $3,600 is budgeted for advertising and between $1,000 and $1,200 was spent.

The book exchange gives students the ability to sell their books online to other Kent State students.

“Students have the potential to make more money because students don’t want to pay full price at the bookstore,” Ross said. “But students aren’t buying because new editions are required almost every semester.”

Ross said students are hesitant to become sellers on the book exchange because of the risk involved. If students return their books at the bookstores, they are at least guaranteed a percentage of the cost back.

Senators’ reactions were mixed about discontinuing the book exchange.

Ross Miltner, senator for community affairs, is in favor of keeping the program, but he wants to add items such as caps and gowns for graduating students or residence hall furniture.

Ross said he recently deleted 400 books out of the 1,000 available online because they had been around since 2002.

Another possible alternative is using the book exchange program as an outlet for business majors to gain entrepreneurial experience. Ross is looking to propose this idea to Elizabeth Sinclair, assistant dean at the College of Business.

“They could run it like a business with a faculty adviser monitoring it,” Ross said. “It would provide real-word experience for them.”

Ross also expressed dissatisfaction in what he believes to be unnecessary student fees.

The Kent State Student Center Operations Department currently requires student organizations to pay fees in order to use audio-visual equipment.

Ross said he does not believe a fee should be required since students already pay for the cost of the equipment in their tuition.

“The fee goes to refurbishing new equipment,” Ross said. “But I think charging student organizations is double-charging them.”

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected].