Rockhurst will host its annual book sale this week, Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event is organized and lead by members of Sigma Tau Delta, an honor society for students who major in English.
The books will be sold in the lobby of Arrupe hall, hardback books for $2 and paperbacks for just $1. There will also be baked goods for sale. Unlike in any previous year, visitors can pay using debit and credit cards. Cash and Venmo are also accepted.
The English students hope to sell the more than 1,000 donated books. Because they were donated by a diverse conglomerate, including alumni, faculty, members of the Jesuit community, and friends of the university’s Greenlease Library, the collection of new and used literature features a variety of genres.
Sarah Ulsher, ’20, co-president of Rockhurst’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter, has been impressed by the generosity of the books’ donors. Thanks to them, “we have a huge selection this year,” Ulsher said.
The funds from the book and bake sale will be put toward sponsoring students on their annual trip to the national convention of Sigma Tau Delta. This academic year, the conference will be held in St. Louis in March. With a convention so proximal to campus, several Rockhurst students hope to attend, and the book sale will help them get there.
The conference is a unique gathering place for students from across the country, presenting them with opportunities to share their literary work, network, and learn more about professions in the humanities.
Ulsher, who attended the 2018 conference, considered it a beneficial experience, she met new people in her area of study and delved into the creative and complex world of literature. “The conference is an amazing opportunity for students and all funding [to get there] is so appreciated,” Ulsher said.
As part of the convention, participants are invited to submit their creative writing and academic papers. Each year the convention planners receive more than 800 submissions.
Fortunately, last year, two Rockhurst students who submitted their work were invited to present at the 2018 convention in Cincinnati. One such student was Moira Myers, ’18, who shared her critical essay titled “Radical Hospitality in Literature and Learning.” At the conclusion of the convention, Myers’ essay received an esteemed honorable mention in its category.
Throughout the process of attending the convention and in preparation for the book sale, Rockhurst students are supported by their advisor John Kerrigan, Ph.D.
For years, Kerrigan helped run the convention itself, so he is pleased to advocate for the attendance of Rockhurst students. “The book sale has become a Rockhurst tradition,” Kerrigan said.
Alongside Ulsher, is co-president Veronica Clay, who hopes to read self-authored poetry at the 2019 convention. Clay is excited to see the books that visitors unearth from the sale’s more than 1,000-book collection. In the process of setting up, she found a brand-new book, in unsealed packaging, worth $150 online – a patron will be able to purchase that book for only $2.
So, it is safe to say, this book sale is a goldmine of opportunity – for visitors to discover stories yet untold to them and for English students to pave their way to St. Louis.
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