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Second-hand knowledge

The permanent closure of SAITSA Second

Classes are back in full swing, and you bright-eyed and hopeful students are likely settling back into the groove of post-secondary problems and coping with your rapidly escalating, and crippling, debt.

The debt continues to climb, which is an unfortunate post-secondary pickle we all find ourselves in. With the amalgamation of tuition, rent, food and textbooks, the amount of debt slowly but surely surpasses your assets, which is certainly a bummer.

And if you’re a returning student, you may have noticed that the ever-so-useful SAITSA Seconds, the former used textbook store, permanently closed its doors during the summer.

Now, you may have been steaming with rage after paying full price for the weighty tomes that will sit untouched on your mantle after you leave this campus and enter the workforce, but hold on. Just because SAITSA Seconds closed doesn’t mean you can’t find used textbooks with relative ease.

“It seems sad that they closed, but we can buy and sell used textbooks [in the SAITSA app] as well, so it’s no huge loss,” said Rahim Virani, a business administration student at SAIT.

Virani has a point.

While the closure of the used bookstore may be a hindrance, it doesn’t completely throw a wrench in the used textbook-purchasing plan. They are still available.

In the SAITSA app, there is an entire page in the community messaging board for buying and selling. And sure, there are some personal items such as cameras and backpacks for sale, but it is widely used as a tool to sell used textbooks.

If you scrolled through the messaging boards before school started, there were numerous posts per day regarding the buying and selling of these ever-so-precious books, and though it has slowed down at this point, hardly a day goes by without seeing several commerce and accounting books pop up.

Though, the bookstore’s closure didn’t come without its drawbacks.

“After SAITSA Seconds closed, it was a little bit hard to find some second-hand books that were still in good shape, and also the latest edition,” said Via Basit, a travel and tourism student
at SAIT.

Luckily for Basit, there was also a Facebook group for the school of hospitality and management’s students and alumni to alleviate the burden on the program’s newest recruits.

Basit was able to find her textbooks through the aforementioned group, in combination with searching on Kijiji.

“I would say it’s a little bit more time- consuming because you need to adjust your [schedule], and to actually meet someone in a specific place to pick up the books.”

And, again, Basit is right.

The removal of SAITSA’s service has been a burden on some students who find themselves strapped for time or landlocked on-campus.

Ultimately, what this change from a physical location to a purely student-run online operation amounts to then, is relieving a portion of SAITSA’s budget, which was previously spent on the upkeep of the bookstore and its employees.

And, hopefully, SAITSA uses the newfound cushion to provide services the students need.

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