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By Wes Brown
The University Students' Council is asking why printed course packages at the BookStore are more expensive than those at USC's Inprint.
Dave Brebner, the USC's VP-finance, said the printing service offered by the USC is simply cheaper for students. "The [copyright] for the information is always going to be the same for both bodies," he said. "We are cheaper per page."
Brebner said not only are the per page costs cheaper, but Inprint packages are bound rather than glued and have full colour covers. "On average, the packages are $5 to $10 cheaper, which doesn't seem like a lot, but can add up fast when students have five courses to buy for."
At the BookStore, manager Bruce Maslen said his operation differs significantly from Inprint's. "We are an ancillary service which classifies us as a 'for-profit' centre," he said.
Maslen said the BookStore has to recoup all of its costs like phone bills and worker salaries. He said because of this the BookStore cannot afford to get into a price war with Inprint.
"It's just logical most students will go to the BookStore to buy all of their academic books so that they don't have to run all over the place," he said. "We're just trying to provide the best service we possibly can."
Brebner said the cost of printing course packages has risen. He added if this causes administration to lower their prices, then students will benefit.
"Just as [the university] starts to sell used books, we begin to sell course packages. The USC does not care if they print course packages, we care about whether students are receiving the best deal possible," he said.
Mark Wellington, manager of Inprint, said pricing is lower because costs are lower. "We are able to utilize part-time student workers at Inprint whereas the BookStore has a large full time staff," he said.
Wellington said it was hard to say exactly what the BookStore charges per copy page, but said it was around 5.5 cents per page, compared to Inprint's 4.5 cent cost.
"And as we grow from outside sales, those profits will go directly toward offsetting prices for the students," he said.
As for professors, social science dean Peter Neary, said there is no general policy in place requiring professors to have their course material printed with any particular service.