Recycled gowns contribute to green graduation at Iowa State University (December 13, 2010)
AMES, IA – The Iowa State University Book Store (UBS) is supporting the university’s Live Green! initiative by offering recycled graduation gowns for the fall 2010 commencement.
The academic regalia, manufactured by Virginia-based Oak Hall Cap & Gown, is made of 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. This new line of graduation wear is made of fabric spun from molten plastic pellets. It takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown. With some 60 million plastic bottles going into U.S. landfills every day, this offers ISU a chance to turn trash into keepsakes.
“We have been very conscious of the Live Green! initiative and have made great strides in recent years with recycled products,” said Rita Phillips, store director at UBS. “What better way to support this effort than to have ISU students walk across the stage at commencement wearing gowns made from recycled materials.”
The “green” gowns are made of soft, comfortable fabric, virtually indistinguishable in color, feel or fit from traditional polyester material. The gowns cost only a few dollars more than the traditional gowns. Graduates who don’t want to keep their gowns can return them to UBS to be recycled after the ceremony.
“Graduating from college is one of the most important milestones in your life,” Phillips said. “Our graduates can be proud knowing they are doing the right thing for the environment.”
The recycled gowns are the latest among many recycled products for sale at University Book Store, including school and art supplies. UBS also places customer purchases in 100% biodegradable bags and has recycling bins for these and other bags in the store.
UBS can be reached at 515-294-5716.
Iowa State University Book Store Announces New Store Director (May 2010)
AMES, IA – The Iowa State University Book Store is pleased to announce Rita Phillips as the new store director. Phillips replaces Lynette Seymour who retired in August 2009.
Phillips was hired in 2001 as the book division manager, where the department received the award for Outstanding Growth in the Ratio of Used Textbooks Sold to Total Textbooks
Sold by the Independent College Book Store Association. That award recognized a 48% increase in the ratio of used textbooks to new textbooks. Even today, UBS continues
to offer a large selection of used textbooks that exceed the industry averages. Most comparable institutions operate closer to a ratio of 30% used textbooks.
“In difficult economic times, it has become very important to help students find value in course materials,” Phillips said. “I am extremely pleased with our staff’s willingness to look
at new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our students and the goals of the bookstore.”
Most recently, Phillips served as the retail manager, overseeing all retail operations for the store. Effective April 19th, she officially began the role of store director.
“While many things have changed in the 137 years UBS has been serving Iowa State, one thing has not - our service,” said Phillips. “I’m proud to become part of that tradition of
serving ISU students, faculty and staff.”
UBS can be reached at 515-294-5684.
Iowa State University Book Store Awarded Textbook Rental Grant (October 2009)
AMES, IA – In an effort to continue focusing on the affordability of textbooks in higher education, the Iowa State University Book Store (UBS) will begin offering textbook rental. UBS is one of 30 recipients of a U.S. Department of Education grant to fund textbook rental programs. The $300,000 award will be utilized over the course of two years to launch and grow a rental program for ISU students.
"Beginning a rental program requires a significant investment," said Rita Phillips, interim director of UBS. "This grant provides the necessary dollars to begin and then grow a rental program here at ISU."
UBS will offer rental of a few select titles beginning in spring semester 2010. Faculty would have to commit to the same text for at least four to six semesters in order for rental to be economically feasible.
“We are currently working with our faculty to establish which courses may be a good fit for the new rental program,” said Phillips.
Phillips said the grant to launch the rental program is welcome news, because it’s another step that will help alleviate student debt.
“UBS has always made extraordinary efforts to provide affordable course materials. Those efforts include a strong used book program, buyback, electronic book offerings and now textbook rental,” she said.
UBS offers a large selection of used textbooks that exceed the industry averages among comparable institutions.
“Our used book ratio in the fall 2009 semester was at 41 percent,” said Phillips. This means that 41 percent of textbook sales were used books, which cost students 25 percent less than new. Most comparable institutions operate closer to a ratio of 30 percent used textbooks. UBS also negotiated with several used book vendors to offer students “Used Book Deals.” This program gave students 45 books to select from in a variety of courses with pricing well below the regular used price. These used books saved students more than $200,000 on the costs of their course materials in the fall semester.
UBS can be reached at 515-294-5716.