Iowa Lakes Campus Store works to benefit students

The Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College had the opportunity to hear about ways the Campus Storeswork to benefit students during their meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Delaine Hiney, the Executive Director of Facilities Management introduced Doug Sutton, campus stores coordinator, who presented the information to the Trustees.

The Campus Stores are located on the Emmetsburg and Estherville campuses. This past fall, the Campus Store in Emmetsburg was moved into the new Student Services addition which provided the store a chance to expand. As new products are launched and tested, Sutton is identifying new options for the Campus Stores.

“By expanding the retail space in the stores, we are able to expand our merchandise offerings,” said Sutton. This includes a wider selection of clothing from Nike and MV Sport as well as drinkware from CamelBak and Spirit products.

“In the Emmetsburg store, the increased space has allowed us to incorporate an open-air cooler which allows us to offer students a wider selection of healthy snack options ranging from yogurt and fresh fruit to salads and vegetables,” said Sutton.

Iowa Lakes works in partnership with MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC. This benefits both the college and the students. That includes the fact that with MBS, the college can provide increased numbers of used textbooks to students. The college also has a strong buyback program which means good wholesale prices for the students returning books. And, students benefit from competitive rental pricing.

“In recent years, the Campus Stores have added a Point of Sales (POS) system which allows staff to provide fast and convenient service,” said Sutton. In addition, the POS system is integrated with an inventory management system. This allows the store to reduce expenses and monitor sales history from semester to semester.

Changes in the textbook industry as well as student purchasing behaviors has influenced how the Campus Stores operate.

“With increased textbook prices and more competition from online sources, the Campus Store must be flexible and ready to adapt to new opportunities to assist students in obtaining their necessary materials at affordable prices while maintaining profitability,” he said. “We are working to do this by offering students increased alternatives such as loose-leaf textbooks and digital textbooks as well as expanding our rental program.”

With all the changes that have occurred in the textbook industry in the last decade, Sutton says staff will remain flexible and evolve with the demands and expectations of students.

Following Sutton’s presentation, Hiney again addressed the Trustees.

Two change orders were approved. The first was for the addition to the Algona campus which was an increase of just over $8,000. The second was for the Estherville Fine Arts project which included a reduction of $50,477. Both projects are being paid through the 2016 Bond Referendum.

She also discussed the renewal of the college’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) licenses and lease agreement. The Trustees voted in favor of continuing an existing lease agreement with River Valley Cooperative of Graettinger. This step will allow Starcom to electronically file the renewal request with the FCC.

Next up was Julie Williams, Dean of Students, who made a formal presentation to the Trustees to update the athletics programs available to students by offering Men’s and Women’s Competitive Sports Shooting teams. For several years the college has offered a Shooting Sports Club. After discussion, the Trustees endorsed the idea of transitioning the club into an athletics team.

Williams stressed that all participants will be required to achieve a gun safety certification and that guns will be stored off campus. Currently, eight other community colleges in the state offer the sport through the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference.

The sport is a fast-growing and dynamic sport which is expected to attract 10 students in the first year and 20 or more students in its second year. Currently, several area high schools have the sport and many 4-H participants are in leagues. The sport would be based at the Emmetsburg campus.

Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations talked about donations to the college. The Trustees accepted the donation of crop inputs totaling nearly $60,000, for the College Farm Lab for the 2018 growing season. Rogers especially thanked Director of Ag Technology Neal Williamsen, and Assistant Professor of Agriculture Tom Quastad for their leadership as well as the college ag students for making presentations to the agronomy professionals.

The other portion of the donation was $6,000 cash from Winfield Solutions in honor of the Answer Plot partnership. “This project is a tremendous addition to the College Farm Lab,” said Rogers.

Professionals will receive training and our students will be able to participate and learn about products and practices as well.”

She also covered progress on a preliminary 260E bond issue for this spring.

In addition, she shared information showing that Continuing Education registrations are continuing to grow at a fast pace.

And, Rogers reminded everyone that April 1 is rapidly approaching. It is the final deadline for applying for scholarships at Iowa Lakes.

In other business, the Trustees listened to reports from other members on recent meetings they attended.

The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, at the Emmetsburg campus of Iowa Lakes.

For More Information:

Iowa Lakes marketing office at 712-362-7947