Brock University students will soon have a student-run used bookstore on campus. Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is currently working with designers on the project and are actively researching set-ups in Ontario universities to implement a store into the university by next fall.
Mark Bassegio, BUSU vice-president university affairs, says the used bookstore is a great opportunity for Brock.
“We wanted to do something that would be beneficial for all students.”
Bassegio says the idea has been floating around for quite a while.
“It hasn’t been exclusively a priority of this council,” he said. “It’s been a heated topic for almost every executive. We’ve never had a space and now we do.
“There’s a clause in the Student Centre agreement that says we can’t use any of the retail areas for the sale of textbooks, so we didn’t have space. Now we have the new space outside of the building,” said Baseggio.
The proposed space for the new store is in the education block near the former exit to the physical educational complex. Bassegio describes the space as “a bit bigger than Sophie’s.”
Bassagio also says the service would be available on the Web, which would increase its convenience.
Student-run used bookstores have been successful at other Ontario universities. Renata Wald, manager of the used bookstore at the University of Western Ontario says its a good deal for both students and the student council who oversee operations.
“We can save them [the students] money, they [the students’ unions] can make money, and we don’t lose money. Overall it’s a great service for the students.”
Wald says the advantages of a used bookstore over a used book section of a regular book store is that it puts more money in students pockets.
“They can sell books back on a consignment, which helps to recoup some of their money. We encourage students to set their own price for books from 50 – 75 per cent of the new cost of a book, which can make them more money than the cash on site that the new bookstore on their campus can offer.”
Shauna Guillemin, who works at the University of Waterloo’s used bookstore, says that their store allows students to price their books at up to 80 per cent of the original price.
Bassegio says the used bookstore at Brock would also work on a consignment basis. He hopes a manager with a history in book retailing will be hired who can set a scale for the pricing that will benefit both buyers and sellers.
According to both Wald and Guilleman, there is little tension between the new and used bookstores on their campuses.
“There’s a need for both of us. It gives students a choice, which is always good,” says Wald.
“For the students, having a choice of where to buy is both financially helpful and fair for the competition of the marketplace,” says Guilleman. “There’s no tension between stores, we actually work together to make things easier for students. They even take into account the numbers of books we get back each term to better assess how many new books they should order for their store.”
In addition to used books the new space would also include more Brock clothing retail and would expand BUSU photocopying services. The issue will go to a referendum or to the Brock University Students’ Administrative Council depending on how the project is eventually