New bookstore brings mixed feelings on campus

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Dealing with the bookstore on campus can be a frustrating task for students here at UNBSJ.

Whether it’s the high price of books or the limited amount of copies, the simple task of purchasing books has left some students weary and stressed out. This year, UNBSJ is experiencing the bookstore quite differently and it seems that the student body is still undecided as to whether they like the recent changes.

Follet Higher Education Group purchased the bookstore from the university in October 2010. The new owners have provided some great resources for students, such as used books, the option to rent as well as electronic resources The website has also been fully updated; students can go online, type in their course and see what books they need for the term. Other changes include the actual look of the bookstore and the price of merchandise.

For some, these new perks have come at a price; a pretty big price according to former employee Rezwanur Ullash, who was let go from his position at the bookstore. “My job at the bookstore was so important to me financially,” explains Ullash, “it was how I supported myself. I had even turned down some other summer jobs because I liked the bookstore so much and wanted to stay there.” He was given very limited notice of his dismissal when the new company took over. Now he has been forced to find work elsewhere. Ullash was among a few other students that experienced the same sort of treatment this summer.

It has been rumoured that another upcoming major change is the potential closure of the UNBSJ Inprint Bookstore located on King Street. The Inprint Bookstore opened in June 2007 and is rumoured to shut its doors sometime in the New Year. The manager of the UNBSJ Bookstore, Eric Daley was unavailable for his comments. Although this store does not sell textbooks, it currently offers a wide array of UNB merchandise, such as clothing, supplies and a large collection of general trade books.

For those not directly affected by the change in ownership, it seems that much of the student body is still divided as to whether they agree with the new changes.

Kaleigh Gillis, a third year student, comments on her experience with the bookstore thus far, “I wish they would have more used copies available and they are too understaffed for this busy time of year.” On the contrary, fourth year education student Leah Thompson said, “The new bookstore has been really helpful on the wallet, especially with the renting option.”

It seems that despite the mixed feelings between professors, students and staff that the new company is here to stay!