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By The Auxiliary Services Team

In our last blog post, we talked about the Food Service Advisory Committee and how it has helped shape Dining Services at the University of Houston. But did you know that your friendly campus bookstore has an advisory committee as well?

You may ask yourself, “Why does the UH Bookstore need its own advisory committee?” The Bookstore Advisory Committee, or BAC, has been the driving force behind many important initiatives to help make purchasing textbooks more affordable and more convenient for UH students. Feedback and suggestions from the Bookstore Advisory Committee helped lead to the bookstore’s price-matching policy, more affordable ways for students to get their textbooks and course materials — such as renting textbooks instead of buying and electronic course materials — and to a more efficient textbook adoption process for faculty.

As with the Food Service Advisory Committee, BAC meets regularly during the fall and spring semesters. Also like FSAC, the Bookstore Advisory Committee members represent all the major constituencies on campus: faculty, staff and students.

In Their Own Words: BAC Member Highlights

Valentin Perez

Committee Chair, Voting Member, Student Government Association

Valentin PerezWhy did you join the Bookstore Advisory Committee?

Textbook prices have been an issue for me for a long time, so I decided to join the Bookstore Advisory Committee. I wanted to understand why textbook prices were high and what I could do to help lower prices. I wanted to make a difference for the student body, and I felt tackling an issue in which I had a vested interest would motivate me.

How do you feel BAC benefits students and the UH community?

The committee benefits the students in many ways by providing a place where student concerns can be channeled and constructive dialogue can occur. It can build relationships between the different groups in the University; for example, the faculty and the students. These relationships in turn can help innovate how the bookstore works with the different groups it has to serve.

Robert X. Torres-Torres

Committee Vice-Chair, Graduate Documentation Coordinator, Voting Member, Staff Council

Robert Torres-TorresWhy did you join the Bookstore Advisory Committee?

As a member of Staff Council, we are required to join campus-wide committees.  I was asked my preference, and I chose the Bookstore Advisory Committee.  I love reading and support access to any and all books and literature.

How do you feel BAC benefits students and the UH community?

The books used for our courses at UH are critical parts of the education we offer, and it is important to have some sort of oversight from both faculty and staff.  It is also important that we in the committee can raise awareness about bookstore issues that have been brought to the individual members.  In that way, we act as a voice for those who are not usually heard.

Sheng Kuan Chung

Professor of Art Education, Voting Member, Faculty Senate

Why did you join the Bookstore Advisory Committee?

Sheng Kuan ChungGoing to bookstores has been a pastime for me since I was a college student. I enjoy browsing novelty items and checking out new releases. I always have a positive experience visiting bookstores, and I understand what customers expect when they visit one. I decided to join the Bookstore Advisory Committee as a change agent in support of bookstore services and operations, and as one who helps fulfill the needs of the UH community.

How do you feel BAC benefits students and the UH community?

Based on my experience with bookstores and now as a faculty member on the Bookstore Advisory Committee,  I am excited to play a proactive role in offering new ideas and contributing to action plans that better our campus' bookstore services. Some of the recent bookstore services or offerings, for example, include special discounted merchandises, price matching on textbooks and outreach events for students and faculty. All of these offerings directly benefit students, faculty and the UH community.

Troy Christensen

Assistant to Professor Paul C. W. Chu, Voting Member, Staff Council

Troy ChristensenWhy did you join the Bookstore Advisory Committee?

I have used the UH Bookstore for many years, both as a student and as a staff member. I wanted to understand more about the bookstore’s operations, and I thought that my experience as a staff member and as a former student might be helpful.

How do you feel BAC benefits students and the UH community?

The bookstore is an important resource for the UH community. By including students, staff and faculty members in decision-making, the committee draws on diverse experiences and expertise. It helps to make sure that the bookstore meets the needs of the entire UH community now and in the future.

Have An Idea to Improve Bookstore Services?

If you have an issue with textbooks or ideas on how to improve UH Bookstore services, contact the Bookstore Advisory Committee chair or vice-chair. We welcome all types of feedback and ideas from students, faculty and staff.

BAC Voting Members 2017-18

Valentin Perez
Chair, Student Government Association
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2018
Email: valperez@gmail.com

Robert X. Torres-Torres
Vice-Chair Staff Council
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2019
Email: rxtorres-torres@uh.edu

Steven Woods
Faculty Senate
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2019

Emily Lawson
Faculty Senate
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2018

Sheng Kuan Chung
Faculty Senate
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2018

Lisa Cruces
Faculty Senate
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2019

Troy Christensen
Staff Council
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2018

Edrick Rougeau
Student Government Association
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2019

Bhumi Acharya
At-Large Undergraduate
Term Expires: Aug. 31, 2018

Ex-Officio/Non-Voting Members

  • Emily Messa, Associate VC/VP Administration
  • Neil Hart, Executive Director, Auxiliary Services
  • Rosie Ashley, Program Director, Auxiliary Services
  • Matt Prasifka, Program Director, Auxiliary Services
  • Bill Schaub, Manager, UH Bookstore
  • Eve Esch, Director, Student Centers, Student Center
  • Heidi Kennedy, Director, Academic Program and Management
  • Maria Honey, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communication
  • Kristina Michel, Communications Coordinator, Marketing and Communication

 

posted: Monday, Nov. 6, 2017