With the fall semester about to begin, back-to-school expenses can stretch most any budget. Working to provide the best cost and most value for University of Arizona students are the UA BookStores.
The UA BookStores offer discounts on new or used book purchases – they match pricing found on-line and at UA area bookstores. They also provide book rentals and even notifications of library availability for books needed in class.
More importantly perhaps, the UA BookStores play an integral part in the quality of campus life.
"The UA BookStores are here because of and for the UA student body," said Kurtis Durfey, marketing and creative design specialist with the UA BookStores.
A part of Student Affairs, the UA BookStores contribute all revenue, less the cost of the product and the BookStores' operational cost and other event-based costs, back to the student population.
Specifically, the revenue supports the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, known as ASUA. ASUA is the hub for student clubs, activities, leadership, safety, community, advocacy and tradition with programs and activities such as Spring Fling, Family Weekend, Safe Ride, Legal Services and ZonaZoo.
The UA BookStores also contribute to the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the UA's student-run newspaper, through advertising.
The BookStores regularly employ 100-150 students each year, and during the rush of the beginning of the semester, employ 300 students to keep up with demand.
Students looking for the best prices should preorder their books as soon as possible, as the two weeks before and after the beginning of the semester are the busiest time of the year.
The UABookStores, Durfey said, have become a national model and are held in high regard throughout the industry for having paved the way through national partnerships with big brands whose strong buying power leads to reduced pricing.
The UA BookStores partner with Clinique, Mac, Nike, Amazon, Dell and other brands to offer discounts not found anywhere but on campus.
New this semester is Wildcat Threads at the campus Rec Center, offering sportswear from top brands. They also have added a gift shop in Biosphere 2, the UA Poetry Center and Flandrau: The UA Science Center.
The Park Student Union location is now closed, but locations at the Student Union Memorial Center, McKale Center, the Arizona Health Science Center (which caters to the needs of health and medical students), UA South and the Tucson and Park malls are ready for the semester's rush.
As for sustainability, the UA BookStores now offer inkjet refills, a cyber junk collection twice a year and are looking to implement a peer-to-peer book exchange and selling Internet site much like Craig's List that will facilitate the commercial exchange of books among students.
Durfey said the Union BookStore looks forward to an event-filled fall with author readings and signings, technical support demonstrations from the UA BookStores Technology Center experts as well as artistic performances from UA student musicians.
He also is excited about the planned chef demos wherein chefs from the Student Union will offer cooking demonstrations and tastings.