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Thursday, March 30, 2023

So this is the part when we're supposed to congratulate the Gator Party on accomplishing another one of its platform goals for getting the UF Bookstore to hold a student discount day. Gator says this will alleviate some of the financial burdens of the holiday season.

Except for a few details: Anyone looking to save money during the holidays isn't going to shop at the UF Bookstore anyway, which is notorious for selling overpriced merchandise. Even with a 20 percent discount, you'd still probably shell out more money than you would at another local T-shirt shop or buying books online.

And the other half of Gator's platform point, the part about "providing a boost to the Gainesville economy," isn't being met.

Extending a discount to students shopping at Office Depot, Gator's other recent accomplishment, won't do much, either. Honestly, how often do you shop at an office-supply store? While it's a nice effort, the truth is, it won't amount to much for students.

In theory, a discount day could be beneficial for everyone. Students could get things they want and need for lower prices, and businesses wouldn't mind taking a cut in profits because the amount of sales would make up for it.

Gator would be much better off trying to convince off-campus businesses to give students discounts. If Butler Plaza or The Oaks Mall held a discount day, students would be all over that. Those stores are where students already spend their money.

Gator has said it wants to use the UF Bookstore discount day as a jumping-off point for more expansive discount days, but we're not so sure the method it's using now will work. If the event isn't successful at the UF Bookstore, what chance does the party have convincing other stores to participate?

It's damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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