A new online textbook exchange portal organized by Student Association is being introduced to Geneseo students and is slated to debut in time for the spring semester.
Dianne Krenzer, service manager for SA, has been working on the project since its inception in 2008 and has helped give the program momentum as the SA executive board has changed from year to year.
"We were ultimately looking for something better for the students," Krenzer said. Textbooks are generally notorious for their selling prices, and students attempting to sell them back to official bookstores can usually get, at best, 50 percent of their money back.
"I think the exchange service will be a great opportunity for Geneseo students," said junior Mathé Katsumchom, SA director of public relations, in an e-mail. "I think gradually a lot of the burden that comes with buying and selling will be lifted when students can simply look to one another for a good deal."
Krenzer said that SA "is not a party of the transaction, just a facilitator." While the service will assist students in finding one another, it will be up to students to set prices and meet to make the exchange. SA is strongly encouraging students to find a safe, public place to meet.
The exchange system is condensed into one Web site designed for the most part by senior Kristin Shumway, student Web assistant at Computing Information and Technology. Students can log in using their Geneseo e-mail and password, and the instructions are self-explanatory.
A similar program run at the University at Buffalo largely inspired the program. The UB Web site allows students to buy and sell items other than textbooks. Krenzer said that although this is a possibility for the future, SA will initially concentrate on textbook exchanges.
Mark Calicchia, an employee of Sundance Books, said he is not very worried about the effects the program might have on sales. "With the bad economy, students always do whatever they can to find the best deal," he said. He added that even when students order off the Internet, they may find they have gotten the wrong edition or translation and end up going to a physical store to make the exchange.
Students said they are looking forward to taking advantage of the portal. "We're already figuring out what we can swap between us," said freshman Katelyn Quinn.
The site is officially open and students can begin posting and purchasing immediately at books.geneseo.edu/exchange.
The program was initially headed up by Pat Oberle, former SA director of student programming, class of 2009, and is now run primarily by Shumway and Kamsutchom.