The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

University ends Jaguar Day One program

University ends Jaguar Day One program - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The library at Texas A&M University-San Antonio on March 17, 2020. Jaguar Day One, a textbook service offered by A&M-San Antonio in the Fall semester, will be discontinued in Spring 2021. Photo by Maegan Mendoza

Criminal justice junior Taylor Feehan said she has still not received the digital textbook for her Criminal Justice Organizations class. 

She was able to go on without the textbook because of PowerPoints her professor made. However, she said the book probably would have been more helpful with any information the professor didn’t provide.

“Now if he wouldn’t have provided any PowerPoints, then it probably would have been a whole different story,” Feehan said.

After Feehan and other students experienced delays in receiving class materials and some confusion with Jaguar Day One this semester, the program will not continue through the spring. 

Ursula Vaughan, director of learning and technology development, said the program ended after students raised concerns about course materials fees and expressed general dissatisfaction. Students’ main concern with the fees was that they were forced into the program.

“I think there was a shock when students saw their bills, and they didn’t like the fact that they were paying into something that they hadn’t opted in to,” Vaughan said in a Nov. 12 interview with The Mesquite,

Vaughan said students can once again choose where they purchase their materials and how much they decide to spend on them. Course materials will not be included with students’ tuition for the spring semester. 

Vaughan said Jaguar Day One charged students $25 per credit hour and the average course is three credit hours. Students were spending $75 per average course for materials with the program. Other course materials vary based on the type of course.

Vaughan said concerns came directly to her from students, faculty and the campus bookstore. She recommends that students purchase materials from the bookstore for spring 2021, but that is up to them.

“With the Jaguar Day One, we were making that choice for students, where it just wasn’t fair to our students to make that choice,” Vaughan said in a Nov. 12 interview with The Mesquite

Vaughan said one reason students experienced delays was the bookstore being overwhelmed with the number of books needed to be delivered. The bookstore only had a couple of people staffed because of the pandemic, so the process was time consuming. Vaughan said there were other “unexplainable” reasons that caused issues.

This semester, students were automatically enrolled in Jaguar Day One to include the cost of textbooks and other course materials as part of their tuition and to eliminate out-of-pocket fees. The program also promised to have the materials delivered to students before classes began.

Students also could opt out of the program and pay for their resources separately. 

Vaughan said the program was developed to take the stress of obtaining materials off of students and have materials delivered to them by the first day of classes. But after seeing frustration on all sides, the university decided the best decision was to end it.

Feehan had the same instructor for two different classes and also received her other textbook late. She said other classmates that she had talked to also did not receive the textbook for that course.

Feehan contacted the bookstore and emailed Christa Cooper, bookstore manager, throughout the semester and has not received a response. The Mesquite reached out to Cooper for a response Nov. 25 but did not hear back in time for the deadline.

“It just gets irritating at a point when I’m constantly having to reach out and still not getting any answers,” Feehan said. “I just kind of gave up. I was like ‘I don’t know what else to do at this point.’”

Feehan transferred from Palo Alto College to Texas A&M University-San Antonio this semester. She said ending this program was a beneficial decision because students will not have to wait on the university to send out materials. 

“It was kind of nice not having to research and to go out and get the physical book…but I feel like it’s more effective on us to make sure that we do have the books in a timely manner for our own classes,” Feehan said.

Vaughan said some students who didn’t receive their materials were refunded, but they had to reach out after a notice of the program was sent by email in July. Students who reached out after that were less likely to be refunded but each case was individually reviewed to decide how to resolve students’ issues.

Vaughan emailed students Nov. 16, officially announcing the end of the program for spring 2021. 

An email from Kathy Funk-Baxter, vice president of business affairs, was sent to students Oct. 27 explaining what options students can take to access their course materials. 

  • Students can purchase or rent their textbooks and other course materials after registering by clicking the link for each class under ‘Textbook Listing’ that directs students to the campus bookstore website.
  • Students can also find their required materials by going directly to the campus bookstore’s website and doing a search of books and other materials on the main page.
  • The university’s bookstore is also operating from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 10a.m.- 2p.m. Fridays.

“Your feedback has helped us improve your access to affordable, convenient options for both required and recommended course materials for the spring 2021 semester,” Funk-Baxter wrote in her Oct. 27 email.

Vaughan said students will still have the option to pick up their books or have them delivered because of the ongoing pandemic. 

For any other questions and concerns, contact the university bookstore at 210-784-1070 or ccooper@follett.com.

About the Author

Clarissa Martinez
Clarissa Martinez
Editor-in-chief
Clarissa Martinez is a junior communications major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She loves writing about important issues and also loves exploring interesting topics, such as movie and music reviews. In her spare time, she loves listening to music, watching movies and television shows, and going to concerts. In the future, she hopes to end up with a career in Film and Television Production or in Journalism.

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