By Liritze Pedroza-Ortiz
In a matter of minutes, Jesus Chepille slipped his money into the window slit, walked a few steps to the right and took the textbook from the cashier.
There was no waiting, no hassle and, best of all, no driving across town to the crowded bookstore on the main campus.
Due to time and transportation issues, the Pleasant Grove campus began selling textbooks out of its business office this semester.
The new system was piloted last spring for continuing education classes and in July for ESL classes. Business office employee Tatiana Velez said this is the first semester that books for all classes are being provided on campus.
A committee that included Eastfield President Jean Conway, Pleasant Grove Executive Director Javier Olguín, bookstore manager Erica T. Spann and eFollet
District Manager Joseph D’Antonio decided to create a more efficient system for Pleasant Grove students to purchase their textbooks.
“I am happy with this new system,” Spann said. “There are no disadvantages. … Students can purchase their books whenever they need them.”
Olguín said the process is more efficient because students can now buy their books in the same place where they pay tuition.
“If the student decides that they are ready to pay for the book, [the cashier] can ring up the book and … sell it to the student right there on the spot,” he said.
An inventory of books is kept in a closet on campus. When more books are needed, a list is sent down to Spann, and the books are delivered to the Pleasant Grove campus.
Previously, the bookstore only allow a two-week window at the beginning of the semester for students to buy their books. Students in flex-term classes had just one day, Spann said.
Those who did not have money for books on those dates were forced to drive to the main campus bookstore at a later date or order online.
“It wasn’t working very well,” Olguín said. “We know that the students, in order to succeed, need their books.”
Having the books on campus has saved students the 17-minute drive to the main campus, which can be a big help considering the high price of gas.
“I live near [Pleasant Grove], and sometimes we don’t have money to go over there,” journalism major Carolina Catalan said.
Although the new system is convenient for most students, some have had problems with certain books not being available on campus.
“They have more variety on the main campus,” said criminal justice major Stephanie Cruz, who had to buy books on the main campus. “I think it’s a hassle to have to go all the way over there yet go to school here.”
So far textbook sales are strong at Pleasant Grove, according to a recent analysis.
“In the [first three weeks] of September we sold just over 150 books,” said Pleasant Grove business services coordinator Emile Kue.
Spann said the analysis showed that overall bookstore revenue has increased from $1,500 to $6,000 during the same two-week period due to the new system being implemented.
Although the change has meant an increased workload for some Pleasant Grove employees, Olguín said it is paying off.
“For our students’ sake, it’s worth it,” he said. “The students are happy, faculty are happy, staff are happy. … Everybody is happy.”