Cheat Sheet

By The Columbia Chronicle

Christopher LaPelusa

Assistant Campus/Viewpoints Editor

After more than a year of complaints about the Columbia College Bookstore, college officials received assurance late last week from Follett Co. that major improvements to the store would start in the spring of 1999.

Last Thursday at the Residence Center, 35 faculty & staff members met with four representatives from the River Grove-based Follett Corporation to discuss the problems that have plagued both students and instructors at the bookstore.

According to Columbia’s Vice President of Finance, Michael DeSalle, Follett officials “took the requests of Columbia’s faculty seriously.”

Follett officials promised to take immediate action on a number of issues, according to Joe Skags, Vice President of Follett College Stores.

For example, the company will reimburse any student who was over-charged for textbooks at the beginning of the fall semester. At the meeting, Follett representatives told college officials that a number of students were over-charged due to a software problem with the bookstore’s inventory system. Faculty members vouched that some students were charged as much as $52 for a $39 textbook. “We’re giving a guarantee of reimbursement,” said Skags, who noted that over-charged students will need receipts from the bookstore for reimbursement.

In other action, Follett officials promised to renovate the bookstore located in the 624 S. Michigan Ave. buliding starting next spring. Skags said the company will work with faculty members from Columbia’s Art & Design Department to redesign the store. Initial plans include the construction of a doorway on Michigan Ave. instead of the existing entrance inside the lobby of the building.

In addition, Skags promised that the bookstore will stock as many textbooks as are needed for classes. In previous semesters, some students and instructors were left without needed texts because of the ordering policy at the bookstore.

Finally, Follett officials said they will expand the hours of the bookstore to better serve students and teachers. “Everything discussed will be corrected immediately,” said Skags.

U-Pass fire continues to burn

By Benjamin Trecroci

Managing Editor

The topic of the U-Pass continues to be hot on the minds of many students weeks after a column appeared in The Chronicle questioning why Columbia didn’t participate in the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) U-Pass program. Petitions from concerned students have been spotted in almost every building on campus sparking a storm of questions school officials have yet to answer.

A few days after the column appeared, school officials contacted The Chronicle, requesting a full-page survey for students to fill out regarding the CTA’s U-Pass program. This marked the first time school

officials made any effort to poll students on whether they wanted a U-Pass program.

The survey asked students what type of transportation they use, how much money they spend on a monthly basis transportation, if they are willing to pay $60 a semester for the pass, if they are in favor of a fee, assessing all fill-time students, even if they do not use public transportation and if they are in favor in they U-Pass. As of last week, the Student Life and Development Department have received 500 surveys with nearly all of them in favor of the U-Pass.

Questions remain why the school decided the time had come to ask students exactly how they felt about the U-Pass and the impending fee that comes along with it. However, the survey has fallen short of reaching all of Columbia’s students.

During a three week Chronicle phone survey, 95 percent of the callers supported the idea of implementing a U-Pass program here.

It remains to be seen if Columbia will participate in the U-Pass program in time for the Spring 1999 semester.