By Carolyn Carpino
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Students are coping with price increases for things such as food and bookstore items at Camden County College.

From left, Freshman Quentin Graves and cashier Jean LaPento make a transaction at the Cyber Café.

From left, Freshman Quentin Graves and cashier Jean LaPento make a transaction at the Cyber Café. By Carolyn Carpino, CCC Journalism Program.

April Astor, a student on the Blackwood campus, said she feels the price of textbooks can be outrageous.

“I understand the college needs to update their textbooks, but it should be done systematically and updated by the departments at different times,” Astor said. “There are some very limited options to find used textbooks sometimes. My computer book was $200 and I couldn’t buy it used.”

Manager of the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the Blackwood campus, Amanda Howe, said the price of publishing has gone up drastically in the last seven to 10 years.

“Our prices are set by the publishers. We don’t have as much of an effect on prices,” Howe said. “We do try to carry used and rental books if possible, making it cheaper for the students.”

Howe also said there are benefits of being a consumer on campus.

“As for items such as food and drinks in the bookstore, the prices are comparable to Wawa,” Howe said. “We are always running sales and promotions, such as meal deals. Textbook prices, in my opinion, may be so high due to the greed and opportunity of the companies that sell us the books.”

Some students said they also noticed food prices have risen on campus.

General manager Rich Levine of the dining services team said inflation is to blame for those price increases.

“All food, paper products, labor, benefit costs and chemicals have gone up in price,” Levine said. “This is the first time in three years prices have risen, with an increase of 2 percent across the board.”

Levine said the cafeteria isn’t making extra profit. “The operator doesn’t make money,” Levine said. “Items are subsidized by the college whereas things cost more in the fair market.”

Levine also said, “Every month we actually lose money because the prices are benefiting the students. The price increase, though, has everything to do with the economy.”

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