Book Exchange

Red Shirts were particularly active in campus service and philanthropy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. One of the most notable examples of this was the introduction of the Campus Book Exchange or Book X that was started by Rho Sigma in 1971.

The idea of the Book Exchange was to provide students with a low-cost alternative to the campus bookstore. Since there were no other textbook sellers in Arkadelphia at the time, students had little choice when it came to selling their books.

The Book X had a slow start. Although several hundred books were sold in the first semester of the exchange, Rho Sigma made only $40 in profit. However, within just a few years, the Fraternity was raking in several thousand dollars each semester from the book sales.

The setup was simple. Students brought in books they wanted to sell and set the prices. Rho Sigma charged 50 cents for selling the book and an additional 50 cents was added to the price, giving the Red Shirts a profit of one dollar per book sold and half that amount if the book did not sell. Books were generally stacked with the least expensive on the top of the stack.

Once the Book Exchange became successful, however, campus officials stepped in and forced the Red Shirts to give up the profits to the student body. The reason for this is unknown, for no other campus organizations were forced to give up profits from their fundraising activities.

Instead of giving the money back to the student body through the Student Senate, Rho Sigma opted to give back to the students by using the money to pay for a series of free outdoor movie nights.