Letter to the Editor: Please do not select Follett for new bookstore

To the Editor,

This is a message for the people that are in charge of choosing who will operate the UConn Co-op Bookstore next semester: please do not select Follett.

I'm a graduate of Manchester Community College, where their bookstore is run by Follett. My experience dealing with that bookstore has been far below stellar. The most important criticism would be the books themselves, which are outrageously expensive regardless of the condition they are in or whether they are rented or purchased outright. Their book buyback program also yields returns that are far below the book's actual value, accounting for wear and tear and a semester's worth of use. One of the books I'd gotten from them for a summer class was in such bad condition that I ended up just throwing it away rather than trying to resell it to them or on Amazon.

If you're looking for a snack or some school supplies, a Follett bookstore is also not the place to buy them from. A pack of Skittles costs way more than you would pay for at a vending machine, and even generic, unbranded merchandise for class or office use is only a couple of dollars cheaper than its branded (meaning the school logo is on a notebook or folder for example) counterparts.

I'm 100 percent in favor of supporting local business. That's why I love the Co-op. I buy all of my UConn merchandise from there. And it is a true shame that they are going away, especially considering that it makes sense for the greater good of the university, as my colleague Eliza Conrad detailed in a Hartford Courant editorial. But if the store becomes run by Follett, I will likely never buy anything from there again outside of a can of Arizona from the convenience store. Any company besides Follett is a great alternative to running our bookstore.

Very Respectfully,

Michael LaPorte

Junior majoring in Political Science

Member, Student Committee on External Affairs

Senator-elect for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Student Government