I am writing in regard to the upcoming decision of Southeast Missouri State University whether to bid out the ownership and operation of Southeast Bookstore to an outside vendor. Thus far, Southeast has maintained an in-house bookstore with a textbook-rental system that allows students to use textbooks for the duration of their classes at a fraction of the cost to purchase them.
As a former student and employee of the Textbook Rental Department, I believe this move would be a mistake on the university's part. For one thing, although Southeast insists a rental program would absolutely continue regardless, the fees are yet to be determined. Textbook rental currently allows rental for the unbeatable price of $25.94 per course. Other rental services, even those through respectable websites or other bookstores, price four months of rental at a minimum of $90 and often more. One of the first selling points of an education at Southeast is how affordable it is, and textbook rental has been a huge part of making that happen.
Also, if the bookstore is sold, what will happen to the current staff? Having worked with this group for years, I can assure you that they are overall the most friendly, dedicated and customer-service oriented team of people I know, and any vendor will be hard-pressed to find better. If the university is dedicated to providing the best possible future for its staff and students, I urge them to listen to their input and reconsider.
KASSY HESS, Chaffee, Mo.