Why fix what is not broken?

Examining the shift to a virtual bookstore

Ferris replaced our beloved and much needed bookstore with the MyBulldogs Service Center downstairs of what is now known as Ferris Outfitters. To purchase or return books, you must now do it completely online. This inconveniences many students.

This makes it more difficult to order and return books nonetheless on time when needed. It made the process longer. This is annoying because if a student purchased a book and soon after dropped the class, they have to print out a shipping label and drop it off at the nearest postal service. In the past, they could just drop the book off at the UC.

I personally have a textbook laying on my kitchen counter waiting to be returned because my roommate was involuntarily switched out of a class. It is now her responsibility to take care of a book she never had to buy. College is expensive and busy enough without the long process of shipping books.

This return process also affects students who save money by renting books. Students have to figure out the new return policies and dates when they were already used to the previous system.

Marketplace, a space for students to buy or sell used textbooks, is one of the features of the online bookstore. Even though this is an option, I believe it is still more complicated than doing it in person.

At the new service center, students can get their IDs, parking passes, and barcodes to check out university equipment. These services already had a place for them. It is convenient that they are all in one place now, but not at the cost of having a bookstore. These services are not as much of a priority as textbooks.

With this being the only option for students to get their books, there is an overload of orders causing delays. Though it is rare, a student could receive a book late just to find out it was the wrong version.

Last year, I bought the online version of a photography book and decided I wanted the physical copy instead. The return process was quick and easy. So, in retrospect, was this change really worth it? I say no and I know many other students can agree with me.

Some students, myself included, prefer to buy their books in person. It was nice to have an in person and virtual option, but now there is only one way to buy our textbooks.

Overall, in my opinion, this was just not a move in the right direction for Ferris. Many students were already overwhelmed with change as school becomes fully in person again. Adding a change as big as this was not necessary when the previous system was working fine.