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Friday, October 13, 2017

Bobcat Depot bookstores closing at regional campuses | The Post

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"Students who work at regional Bobcat Depot bookstores will be transferred to other positions" says Ashton Nichols.  

Freshman Kassydi Dunaway browses the textbooks in the College Book Store on Court Street on Wednesday. 
 Photo: Lauren Bacho

This fall the Lancaster, Southern, Eastern and Chillicothe Ohio University branches will close their Bobcat Depot Bookstores. 

OU Spokesman Dan Pittman said the closings are because of significant market changes and a challenging financial environment across OU. 

“Despite a number of restructurings at the regional campus venues, it was decided the best course of action is to close the regional bookstores,” Pittman said in an email. “Management is currently in the planning stages of the closure.”

Pittman said specific details and more information will be made available at each campus, and students who have rented textbooks at Bobcat Depot will have a place to return them. 

John Anderson, advisor for the Alpha Phi Omega chapter at the Lancaster Campus, said he thinks the university is “turning its back on the students” at regional campuses by closing the bookstores. 

“As you walk in the campus, the bookstore is right there, and the shelves were almost bare,” 

Anderson said. “I was talking to the employee, and they said they were closing the bookstore. She told me because budget cuts are requiring it …  I can’t imagine being on a college campus without having a bookstore.” 

Anderson said he doesn’t understand why regional students may need to drive to Athens to retrieve their books. Lancaster and Chillicothe are about an hour away from Athens, and OU Eastern and OU Southern are about two.

“If it is part of the budget, if we have money to build a new South Green, tear down those buildings and build new dorms and rehab other campus buildings, then we certainly ought to be able to find funds to support the students that are on the regional campuses,” Anderson said. “I’m passionate about keeping the bookstores open on campus.”

According to Ohio University’s Final Spring Enrollment Headcount, in 2016 there were 16,974 undergraduates enrolled on the Athens Campus, and about 10,000 undergraduates enrolled on the regional campuses. More than 6,000 students are enrolled in eLearning. Anderson said many eLearning students use the regional bookstores as resources for their classes. 

“While eCampus students are not physically on a campus, they will use resources at regional campuses to pursue a course of study,” Anderson said. “This pursuit and resources would include use of a local campus bookstore.”

Source: The Post