Public Opinion

Letter to the Editor

A trip to the ‘new and improved’ Main Campus bookstore proved disastrous this past Tuesday. I would not have imagined beforehand that the move would be such a dismal failure. In fact, I was looking forward to seeing some improvements. Unfortunately, that was not the case. First of all, the location of the bookstore itself could not have been more inconveniently placed; tucked away in an obscure nook between the R.P.M. building, the parking lots adjacent, the constantly flowing traffic of University Boulevard, as well as a number of inexplicably placed tracts of loose, shifty, landscaping stone that seems purposefully positioned to dare one to haphazardly stumble over them for a more direct route. However, on the list of things wrong with the new CNM Main Campus Bookstore those minor flaws are way down near the bottom in terms of significance.
The line for returns, refunds and buy-backs, which is not very clearly marked, as evidenced by the number of people I observed standing in line for several minutes before finally realizing their mistake upon reading a piece of copier paper labeling the line, that had been clumsily taped to the wall. Also, said line is outside and seeing as this is Albuquerque, with its a 278 days of sunshine annually, means that students are now being forced to stand out in the constantly blazing sun, or conversely as it does happen here as well, the bitter cold. Finally, after sweating profusely for 20 minutes, we, by which I mean the other poor souls in line with me, at last got around to the windows where employees were obviously overtaxed by the volume of students due to the start of the semester, which I may remind you has been a problem at the Main Campus Bookstore for years.
That being said, one would have thought that this problem and others like it would have been addressed with the relocation of the bookstore. Sadly, it seems that is not the case. I even overheard one of the employees at the windows complain to another, as he excavated her from underneath a mounting stack of returned books, that there hadn’t even been a phone installed for them to call for backup, and that they don’t have a phone to call for assistance at a cashier’s station is simply unacceptable. Finally, it was my turn, and I noticed a posted assertion that it is common for the bookstore to buyback books from students for as much as 50% of their original price, which seems to imply that it will at least be in that neighborhood,
Would it be that difficult to have posted a brief summary of the average rates? Seeing as it is too much to put up a sign that clearly denotes the line in which one actually needs to stand, I suppose that is the case. As is, they seem hard-pressed even to send an employee outside with a piece of paper, tape, and a sharpie. Anyway, I sold my Dugopolski 5th edition College Algebra book to them for $17 and on the CNM Bookstore website, used, it is $145. Now, if the Bookstore is able to flip my book for $145, a full 89% more than what they gave me for it, I would at least expect that such an enormous profit margin would provide for making a better bookstore, one that is not cluttered, chaotic, inefficient, and physically uncomfortable to go to.
The sheer number of glaring problems are enough to encourage the discontinuation of my patronage unless I see some evidence of change for the better.
Student, Joseph Wagner

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