The first week of classes can be a tumultuous affair for students at Simon Fraser — a fate made all the more torturous by excessive line waits to purchase textbooks. However, starting this semester at the Burnaby Campus, line supervisors will now be accepting bribes to place cash-carrying students at the front of the line.
The initiative from the SFU Bookstore, known as “Project Jump Ahead,” was announced over social media last Friday and has been implemented with the goal of shrinking long wait times for students (or at least those from wealthier economic backgrounds). Currently, the average student waits nearly 45 minutes to get their course supplies, in lines that weave all over the Maggie Benston Centre.
Project Jump Ahead was designed by economics graduate and long-time bookstore employee Katya Lizz, who claims that the program was designed to be a component of her master’s thesis, though recent evidence may suggest that the 40 per cent commission on each student gratuity may also have been a factor. (A point made all the more viable with her recent twitter postings of purple Gucci high heels with the hashtag #Book$toremoney.)
While no set payment tier has been announced, students have been advised to use their common sense when bribing bookstore staff; line supervisors suggest that students determine suitable buyoff on the basis of the time of day and line length. It is also recommended that students bring paper money, as opposed to their younger sibling’s piggy bank, for matters of convenience.
Needless to say, the response to Project Jump Ahead has already led to outcry amongst old and new students of the SFU Bookstore; some have even gone as far as boycotting the bookstore entirely. The Peak contacted political science student Katya B. Keatings, a member of the petition, to get their side of the story.
“Since when do we treat bookstores like night clubs? Is nothing sacred in this world? And let’s not forget, this is the kind of stuff that enables the one per cent even more petty justification over the 99 per cent. I, for one, will not stand for this,” Keatings said. “I would rather wait an extra two weeks for my book to arrive through the mail than support this devious cause.”
Despite the project’s controversy, managing staff of Burnaby’s SFU Bookstore have been unwavering in their support of the new student designed program. One bookstore supervisor even told The Peak that the new line system had been in the works for quite some time.
“In the past, we’ve found that students become agitated while waiting to purchase books. They become aggressive, even getting confrontational with our staff. By offering customers a way to jump the line, we’re making the experience slightly more bearable. Still terrible, yes, but slightly less so.
“It also means we’ll have extra money to put into our staff’s semester-end pizza party [. . .] If we make enough, we’re also going to rent a magician for the wrap-up.”
Preliminary projections state that the SFU Burnaby Bookstore could stand to gain $1,000 within the first week of classes. Bookstore management are considering on accepting debit, all major credit cards and Bitcoin if the service proves to be a success.
As it stands, Lizz has met with SFU Administration, and rumours are swirling that the project might be further implemented to quell rising restroom wait times.