Campus - 02.09.2015 - 00:00 

Documents ready for printing

Before the Autumn Semester begins in a few days’ time, the printers of the Script Commission (SKK) are running at full speed. Student Sophie Kwisda spoke to the SKK President Kerry Hurni. He and his team make sure that all students receive their lecture documents in good time.


9 September 2015.

Sophie Kwisda: Mr Hurni, how would you define the work of the Script Commission, and who are your services available to?

Kerry Hurni: The Script Commission is an initiative of the Student Union, which produces and sells lecture scripts and books. Also, it’s up to us to extend the range with articles that students require, such as pocket calculators. It’s important to add, though, that we only carry out orders given to us by faculty members. This means that we can only print scripts for courses which are made available to us by faculty members. Also, our range only includes books which faculty members have ordered from us.

What expenditure does this entail for faculty members at the beginning of a semester?

None at all. They aren’t invoiced for printing, nor for the editing and distribution of the documents. All they have to do is to send the SKK the documents by uploading them onto the SKK website or send them by e-mail or as a hard copy.

Why should students buy books and lecture scripts through the SKK?

Since we’re a non-profit organisation, we’re able to offer our scripts at about five cents per printed page, which in terms of costs puts us significantly below local printers. In addition, we ask our sponsors for back pages. We pass the full amount on to the sponsored scripts, which are therefore even more favourably priced.

This sounds very efficient. How many members of staff work for the Script Commission?

The SKK employs about 25 students, six of whom constitute the management.

Where is the SKK located and what opening hours does it have, particularly at the beginning of a semester?

The shop is in the basement of Varnbüelstrasse 19 in St.Gallen. Our opening hours are published on our website every semester. In the first semester week, the doors will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the second, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and in the third week of the semester, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Subsequently, the SKK is open daily from 12 noon to 1.15 p.m. For the mid-term break and the examination revision period, we specifically select individual days on which we’re also open from 12 noon to 1.15 p.m.

Can books be searched for online or is there a book catalogue?

The whole range can be called up on our website, where you can also get information about whether we’ve still got several books in stock, whether stocks are low or whether the book has been sold out.

With the integration of our website into the University network, students are also able to log in to our homepage with their matriculation number. Then they can use a filter to list all the courses they have already been allocated. All the articles available about their courses will then be displayed to the students.

Is there also a possibility of ordering books that are not available yet or have been sold out?
Before the semester, we ask all faculty members to indicate the literature of their choice to us. We then place our orders on the basis of this feedback. Unfortunately, we’re unable to process individual orders placed by students. If books have been sold out and there’s still a demand, we’ll order more. Owing to different delivery periods, repeat orders are not possible for every book title.

And what about books and scripts that have already been bought – can they be returned?
Students have the possibility to return their books or scripts with the receipt within ten days. This isn’t a money-back guarantee, though – the documents must be in a saleable state, that means they shouldn’t include any notes.

This raises the question as to what happens to any unsold books and scripts at the end of a semester?
As far as the books are concerned, we’re able to return them towards the end of the semester. Therefore it’s more advantageous for students to buy their books by the middle of the semester because we have to return the books in the final weeks of the semester and then we won’t have everything in stock any more.

As for the scripts, we print reserve quantities at the beginning of the semester since there’s a relatively big rush demand. Later, we only keep a small range in stock, and towards the end of the semester we only print them for students directly on site. This may involve a brief waiting period but enables us to minimise waste to a large extent, which again has a positive impact on script prices.

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