The most affordable university in the state just got a little more affordable thanks to an initiative by University of Arkansas – Fort Smith students.
Tatiana Scharr of Fort Smith and Austin Lloyd of Pearland, Texas, led an effort with the help of the UAFS Lions Bookstore to have the Boreham Library at UAFS offer textbooks of general education courses at the university. Students can reserve the book for an hour at a time and are required to read it at the library.
Scharr said the effort is intended to help students who may not be able to afford to purchase all of their college textbooks.
“When you think about students who fail out of college, it’s usually because they can’t pass the classes or they can’t afford it,” she said. “And textbooks factor into that cost. As a social work major, a lot of students there come from impoverished homes, so they couldn’t afford textbooks either. So I thought, ‘Let’s go to the SGA and see if we can change it.’”
She approached Lloyd, who is president of SGA, about the possibility, who loved the idea and worked with the UAFS Lions Bookstore to donate volumes to the library.
“I liked that it helps financially needy students and students who may not have bought the textbook in week one but may need it later in the semester,” Lloyd said. “I was really excited being able to help the students in any way we can.”
Amy Baker, store manager of the UAFS Lions Bookstore, was excited to be a part of the united effort of the SGA, the Boreham Library, and the UAFS Lions Bookstore to help students succeed.
“This initiative will help those students who may not be able to afford the textbooks required for their classes and those who may have left a textbook at home and need to study last minute,” Baker said. “The UAFS Lions Bookstore has donated a number of textbooks so far to the library. The list of titles available will be added to or adjusted each semester based on the textbooks adopted for those classes. As a Barnes & Noble College Bookstore, we strive to provide the most affordable options to our students, but we understand that some students are unable to purchase all of their textbooks right away. This is an opportunity to ensure students have another avenue to help them be successful in the classroom.”
Textbooks for nearly all general education courses at the university are currently available, but Lloyd said the SGA was working to collect textbooks for every course offered on campus.
Dr. Dave Stevens, dean of students, applauded the students’ effort to make the idea a reality.
“The purpose of the Student Government is to work with university administrators and other stakeholders to improve the student experience here at UAFS,” Stevens said. “That’s exactly what Tatiana and Austin were able to accomplish here. Of course, I’m very proud when student leaders step up to help their fellow students. After all, leadership is about service to others.”
For more information on the textbooks available for checkout, contact the library at 479-788-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To see which textbooks are required for a course, visit the UAFS Lions Bookstore at www.uafs.bncollege.com.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, affordable tuition rates, and a diverse on-campus culture allow UAFS students to fully explore their areas of interest in ways that prepare them for post-graduate success academically, professionally, and personally. To find out what makes UAFS just right for you, go to www.uafs.edu.