A couple of guys made the news this week by getting a bigfoot costume, filling it with road kill, freezing it in ice and then calling a press conference to announce they had discovered the beast while hiking in Georgia. One of them was a former police officer. They hired a publicist, were trying to cut the best deal with the tabloid press, and then of course, the gag was exposed as a fake.
When the hoax was out in the open, the quote from the former cop was so characteristic of the worldview of our society.
He was shocked and indignant at the suggestion from a reporter that doing this would “damage his credibility.” He clearly had no internal standard of credibility if he believes a “joke,” to try to make money, and get his 15 minutes of fame, doesn’t have a component of personal responsibility.
We live in a society that becomes offended at the suggestion of consequences for actions.
At Belhaven College we have been extremly concerned about the high cost of textbooks nationwide. It is not unusual for student to spend $500 to $1,000 per semester for books.
To cut these costs as much as possible, our faculty are careful about not requiring a book which is not important to the class – which is the most important step in cost savings.
We also work to keep the costs low in our bookstore by cutting the textbook margin as tight as possible. We do not make money on textbooks. Instead, we price them for students at our direct cost, plus shipping and other direct costs that allow us to make textbooks conveniently available in the bookstore on campus.
But would a Belhaven student’s textbooks be less expensive on Amazon? We often check to see, and I just received this note from the Director of our bookstore, Sheila Lyons
Just to let you know, as I was pricing the textbooks for our listing, I went to Amazon to compare between 12 and 15 of our titles. In all but one case, we were less expensive! We just had a set of parents who had requested the information from us in the summer who will be purchasing the books from us because we are less expensive for the books their daughter needs than either half.com or Amazon. This makes me happy!!
This year we will be exploring other options to save students money on the cost of textbooks, including “textbook rental” for some courses. Also, we are exploring “customized textbooks” that would allow us to offer more focused books which include only the material a professor needs for the course, rather than the full book (when only part of which is used in some courses.)
If you’re interested in this national trend of skyrocketing textbook costs, take a look at maketextbooksaffordable.org.
P.S. Our bookstore does sell Belhaven apparel and other Belhaven mechandise online. Click here to shop online.