This semester, student Lindsay Argyle is taking on the Master of Science in Nursing program. This program is only in its second year at Weber State University, so students like Argyle must buy all new books for her courses.
“I have to buy six for this semester,” Argyle said. “As a master’s student, full-time is only nine credits, so six books for three classes. I was the only one in the nursing section buying nursing books, but I had to wait about 10 minutes in line.”
Argyle joined many other students the week before fall semester by purchasing her textbooks from WSU’s campus bookstore. Because so many students are making their last-minute book purchases, the bookstore refers to this week as Rush Week.
“Rush is upon us — we have so many students coming through at the same time,” said Amber Robson, managing marketer for campus stores. “It only happens twice a year, so it’s kind of like our Christmas season.”
The bookstore must prepare weeks in advance for Rush Week by hiring temporary employees and getting them trained. These employees stay on at the bookstore for about five weeks, with the potential to stay on longer if they work hard and show quality customer care.
“We want to make sure we’re always staffing those hourlies that are the most helpful and customer-friendly,” Robson said. “Benefits get added on as they go. If they’re with us for one complete semester, then we have a textbook scholarship offered the next semester and for as long as they’re working for us.”
Along with added staff, the bookstore also extends hours the first week of the semester and is opened on the Saturday of the week before to help accommodate busy or straggling students.
Even with the extra help, the bookstore process can be long for some students. Bookstore employees encourage students to be prepared with their class schedule and textbook lists before they make their stop to purchase so the process can be as efficient as possible.
“Generally customers encounter multiple employees asking them if they need help,” said bookstore employee Nathaniel Versey. “We’re usually really good at getting right to the customers and asking if they need to be helped out. If they have their class schedule, we can get them out in 30 seconds to a minute. If they come unprepared, it usually takes about five minutes. We’re usually pretty quick.”
After rush is over, the bookstore will continue focusing on their 100-year anniversary commemoration and has many new projects to celebrate. Programs like the rental kiosks with more than 800 titles and online textbooks price comparison are new features for students offered by the bookstore. As the bookstore evolved and grew over the past century, it has become a staple in the WSU campus community.
“We started back in 1911 when we were just a little window basically — cash, no credit,” Robson said. “We had one staff member. We were a very watered-down version of what we are today. Faculty then requested that we grow, and we’ve adapted and continue to adapt.”