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Thursday, September 23, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 23

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Textbooks, soap topics at SA Senate's meeting

By Jim Parsons
Daily Cougar Staff

The University Bookstore is working to better serve UH students through Internet textbook ordering and making sure enough copies of books are on the shelf, General Manager Darren Croom told the Students' Association Senate on Wednesday.

Croom addressed senators regarding complaints they and their constituents had made about the lack of assigned texts at the beginning of this semester. He said he and his staff are working to improve the situation.

"I encourage you to ask for the sky, and if I can provide it, I will do so," he said. "It is your bookstore, regardless of who runs it."

The store is operated by Barnes & Noble college bookstores, whose 10-year contract with the University will be up for renewal in December 2000.

Croom said it is now possible to order books online from the bookstore's Web site (<I>uh.bookstore.com<P>), but he said there remains no guarantee that the text required for a particular course will be on the shelves. Various factors, including professors being late in turning in book requests and shortages at the publishers', can affect the availability, he said.

"My ultimate goal is to provide the exact number of books you need, plus five," Croom said.

Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication Sen. Michele LaRocco asked Croom if there was any way to increase what she called "ridiculously low" book buyback prices, but Croom said it all depends on the demand for a particular book.

If a book is not re-adopted for use, its buyback price drops, as it also does when a book is re-adopted but the bookstore has purchased all the copies it believes it can sell. In the best case, Croom said the bookstore will offer 50 percent of the book's value when new.

In other business, new legislation included a bill calling for the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library to remain open 24 hours a day. The building is currently open until 11:45 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and closes earlier on Friday and Saturday.

Another piece of legislation calls for liquid soap to be placed in dispensers at the Law Center, and a third establishes a plan to spend $350 of SA funds on UH decals that would be provided to students free of charge.

All three pieces of legislation were sent to the appropriate committees for consideration.

College of Business Administration Sen. Richard Russell, chairman of the Cougar Creed Select Committee, said the committee has collected comments from about 75 students. He said the committee would be making presentations to the Faculty Senate, Staff Council and other representative bodies on campus.

Also, Leigh Street was re-appointed to the position of SA director of finance, and Robert Bent, an MBA student, was sworn in to a vacant CBA seat.

The Senate will next meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the University Center Bluebonnet Room.

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