Sold? Bookstore buyout rumors confirmed

January 28, 2010

by Jessica Cassels

As rumors circulate, administrators confirm they are considering leasing the bookstore to an outside business.

Jim King, vice president for student affairs, said there are some advantages to leasing the bookstore.

“The textbook industry is changing,” King said. “So in order to provide that service to the campus, it would require significant upgrades.”

King said he could not speculate what would happen to the prices of books or other items.

“Leasing the bookstore to an outside business would provide the best market price possible,” King said.
“I can’t really say what would happen to the price of book. I mean, they have to make a profit.”

King said the office of student affairs is just speculating about what could happen in the future.

“There is no guarantee that this will happen,” King said. “We have a very efficient bookstore. We would keep the same management team and same number of student jobs.”

Drew Hoffmann, a junior political science major, said there are a few changes he would like to see if it is decided to lease to bookstore.

“The No. 1 concern for me is the price of textbooks,” Hoffmann said. “Hopefully, if the bookstore is leased to an outside business, the price of books would decrease.”

Hoffmann also said he would like the bookstore to stay open longer.

“Another major change I would like to see implemented is the hours of operation. There have been several times where I’ve needed a bluebook or Scan-tron for an eight o’clock class, but the bookstore doesn’t open until eight,” he said.
“Also, many students including myself, don’t have time to shop Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Hoffmann also said he understands the administration’s reasons for considering leasing the bookstore.

“As a student, I see the need for change on campus, and the bookstore is in dire need for change,” Hoffmann said.

He also said he hopes if the administration does choose to lease the bookstore to an outside buyer, the price of books will decrease.

“Many students choose to buy their books from other textbook sellers, either in town or online,” Hoffmann said. “If Tech outsources the bookstore, hopefully the prices of books would go down and be more competitive against the other stores in town or online.”

Cody Fontenot, a freshman biomedical engineering major, said the bookstore being leased to an outside business would be great.

“If a bigger company came in and took over our bookstore, Tech would be able to show incoming and current students how it is advancing technologically,” Fontenot said.
“We are moving forward in so many ways; all this would be doing is helping our campus.”

Fontenot said if the administration does decide to lease the bookstore he does have a few concerns.

“I want to know if it will increase the price of books,” Fontenot said.

He also expressed concern over student jobs and believes students should have an opportunity to voice their opinion on the potential lease.

“Will leasing the bookstore cut out the on-campus jobs that it provides?” Fontenot said.
“I hope there is an open discussion where students and the administration [can] all talk this through together as the ‘Tech Family.'”