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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bursar’s not free spending money

    As the automatic sliding glass doors glide open, the buzz of shopper’s voices mingles with background music. Feverishly long lines of people twist between shelves of merchandise and employees dash around the store to keep up with the overwhelming swarm of shoppers. No, this is not a scene from a post-holiday sale department store, but rather the university bookstore in the first week of the semester.

    The UofA Bookstore is a hub to students, alumni, sports fans and optimistic high school students yearning to become Wildcats.

    “Sales spike at the beginning of the semester,” said Rachel Held, who works at the technology section of the Bookstore. “Students bursar all sorts of technology, from cameras to Beats by Dre (headphones) to iPads.”

    It’s a known fact that sales would increase at the beginning of each semester for books and supplies. But the dark side of that sales spike is the anonymous student shopping spree.

    The trouble with the Bookstore is that, quite frankly it’s not well-loved for it’s main purpose: selling books. The beginning of each semester marks three things: a new schedule, syllabus week and the beauty of the bursar’s account.

    Bursar’s accounts essentially give free reign to students to purchase whatever they want within the proximity of bookstore walls and charge it to an account that is disguised as money spent on “textbooks.” Some students have relatives paying for their textbooks, but may not tell them that they are also paying for running shorts and an iPad.

    The bursar’s account can be a beautiful thing for students who actually use it to buy textbooks and other material for classes. It’s nice to have an account to put purchases on without filling up your credit card or having immediate fees to pay. It can also be convenient for those who pay for tuition, books and all other dues in one place.

    “I only use bursar’s for stuff I need, like textbooks, ink cartridges and lab material,” said Rachael Yeskey, a nutritional sciences sophomore. “Things like lab coats and goggles are very expensive, but the bookstore has really nice ones.”

    However, it’s unbelievable that some students get carried away in the thought of the bursar’s account as being a magic account that doesn’t negatively affect anyone, since they don’t have to pay it.

    “It’s like playing with Monopoly money,” said Morgan Marchetti, a pre-business sophomore. “It’s not real.”

    Some college folk cannot grasp the fact that buying $450 worth of UA clothes is not the same as spending $450 on textbooks.
    It’s not fair to the person who is paying.

    — Ashley Reid is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at or on Twitter via @WidcatOpinions.

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