November 2004 (v7 i3)
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University Co-op announces revised rebate system
Updated discount now employs simple, 23-page formula
by Kathryn Edwards, Associate Editor

It's simple! Just divide the square root of 17 by the
distance from Sioux City, Iowa, to Sydney, Australia, then
subtract 195 bajillion.
CAMPUS — In its continuing effort to give back to the students at the University of Texas, the University Co-op announced the creation of a new rebate system that incorporates the old policy of returning receipts with the addition of an itemization percentage formula compounded with a points system.

"The equation might be a little complicated to the layman," explained Co-op spokesperson Karen Shelbourne. "But the discounts are real."

The new system offers percentage discounts compounded tri-semesterly that are dependent upon the total costs of Co-op items purchased as proven by receipts, like the old system, but with an added formula of a point system based on the itemization of the products purchased and then subdivided into 16 categories called Single Purchase Units, which are then subdivided by price.

"Oh, it's a mouthful trying to explain it," admits Shelbourne. "We've found that the money it saves students in the long run is worth it."

When asked if the reason for the change was because the new system saves students more money, Shelbourne deferred her answer to Co-op Rebate Project Manager Kyle Tody.

"If the standard deviation of the price margin between any two items within a Single Purchase Unit exceeds 2.3," explained Tody, "then a 15 percent reduction on the most expensive item and a 10 percent increase on the cheapest item will be figured into the student's rebate. Granted, this is only after compounding the weighted integrated tax versus the purchase cost subtracted from the total on the receipts, but it still results in an only marginal loss to us."

Tody crossed himself before adding: "Assuming, of course, that Greenspan doesn't raise interests rates more than 0.5 percent within the next quarter."

An explanatory flyer available at the Co-op details in 23 color pages the opportunities for saving money in addition to the SPU itemization compounded points. For example, if a student purchases a life size cardboard cutout of Darrell K Royal, he or she gets an extra 2 percent discount on items AQR4713 through AQR4715.

Students, however, are confused by the new system.

"I have absolutely no idea what's going on," admitted architecture junior Alan Smith. "I'm supposed to give receipts and fill out forms and then maybe I can walk out with a giant foam hand and Darrel K Royal? They don't even tell you how long it takes."

Smith rolled his eyes before continuing: "And I'm really glad that when I'm graduated and living five states away I can get a form called 'Standard Co-op Item Itemization Form 76-B (SCOIIF76-B)' to help me save on textbooks."

The Co-op remains optimistic about a positive student response.

"We're distributing leaflets explaining the new system," said Shelbourne. "Once students become familiar with this type of equation and pass partial differential equations, they'll appreciate how much we give back."
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