Not only is the University of Dallas Bookstore a source of educational, recreational and emergency supplies for the institution’s student body, it also caters to visitors and prospective students seeking to purchase merchandise. However, with the bookstore’s recent reduction of weekend hours, some of these pursuits are hindered.
Beyond Sunday being the “day of rest,” the simple answer to the bookstore’s weekend shut down is that the labor costs of being open on Saturdays did not match sales.
The bookstore, in partnership with the Follet Higher Education Group, possesses two managerial positions involved with day-to-day operations: the manager and the assistant manager. Anita Johnson, who has managed the bookstore for 17 years, works together with the assistant manager and Dr. John Plotts, UD’s executive vice president, to make sure the bookstore fulfills its mission in service to the university, including the scheduling.
Though the schedule previously allowed for the bookstore’s open hours to extend into the weekend, after consulting with Plotts, Johnson discovered that statistically speaking, labor costs did not balance out the sales.
Saturdays were added as off days for the bookstore, with the exception of opening for some special events. In consultation with the Alumni Office, the bookstore was open on Saturday, Oct. 16, during Alumni Family Weekend from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to satisfy any customer need for UD merchandise.
However, the bookstore is not open for all special weekend events. On Odyssey Days, Saturday visit days for prospective students, the Admissions Office requests that the bookstore open. Bryan Box, senior business major and the admission office’s campus visit intern, works closely with the campus visit coordinator, Jeannette Pace, to arrange such visit days.
Despite requests from the admissions office, the bookstore did not open on the Oct. 30 Odyssey Day, though it did open for the Nov. 11 one. “The master calendar basically requests for the bookstore to be open,” Box said. “At least two weeks before the Odyssey Day in October we requested for them to be open, and then we at least gave them a month’s heads up for the November Odyssey Day.”
While Box said that the bookstore’s closure did not ruin the prospective students’ and their families’ experiences, he stated that they expressed dissatisfaction. “There were a number of parents and students that I heard of [who] were kind of upset that the bookstore was not open,” he said.
“The majority of [students who] were legacy students who wanted to come back and get new gear. I don’t think it ruins the experience,” explained Box, “[but the bookstore wasn’t] open and that frustrates parents.”
The bookstore still serves the student body on a regular basis, open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., so all is not lost for students wishing to purchase supplies. In case of emergency over the weekend students may take advantage of off-campus alternatives.