Bookstore Buyback: Things You Need To Know About The UTC Bookstore

By Arielle Henson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.(UTC/The Loop) — UTC Bookstore return policy is less than beneficial for many students on campus.

It’s no secret that bookstores are the busiest places on campuses during buyback times. Whether it is the first week of school or the last week of school, it is a place many students try to avoid during buyback times.

“ The line is always so long. Even on the last day,” said Bre Smith, Junior, Murfreesboro.“We are all still recovering from the semester and finals and still finding all our books. Another week could shorten the lines and allow students the opportunity to return more items.”

Not only are the lines long, but the frustration grows as each day passes that a student cannot return a book for full refund. Many students are not able to predict what books will be used or not when purchasing their required books for class.

“Some teachers such as humanities teachers only use the book for a week or so then move on. It would be beneficial for students that don’t have the money for a full payment of a book to return the book for the whole semester,” said Piper Phillips, Junior, Knoxville.

The following graph is a little insight on the amount of books bought by surveyed UTC students and the actual amount used by those same surveyed students. This graphic proves that of the 15 people who took the survey 100% only use a small percentage of the actual amount of books they purchase.

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 12.55.33 PMScreen shot 2014-04-16 at 12.55.21 PM

Some students have reasonable assumptions as to why students are only allowed to return books during a week’s time. When asked why the survey respondents think there is only a one week window for full return price, one student, Shelby Glisson a sophomore from Lebanon, said, “The bookstore knows many professors do not use the books, but if they allowed more time they would lose an extensive amount of money.”

Many bookstores have begun to urge students not to purchase a book for full price, but to instead rent the book for half the original price. While the book cannot be returned for profit, in the end, the amount of money spent is substantially less.

Barnes & Noble has a list of case studies on their website to provide students with many answers to their questions as far as rentals are concerned. Some results they have produced are that a college campus, Adelphi, saved over $250,000 in an academic year due to switching to a rental process.

According to NACS OnCampus Research, the UTC bookstore is among one of 3,000 bookstores that offer a rental program for students. The rental program cuts up to 50% off of book prices for students who are not able to afford the full price of a book.

The following video describes some of the concerns students have surrounding return policies. It also answers many questions students may have about their school bookstore policies.

If you have other questions regarding the bookstore return policy visit the UTC bookstore website or visit the following links:

Also, if you would like to take the student survey to provide more information and feedback on your buyback experience, Click here.

 

Break System Failure in Chicago Causes Train Derailment

By Arielle Henson

 

CHICAGO (AP/UTC The Loop) — A sensor for an automatic braking system was too close to the end of the track to prevent a crash at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, according to a preliminary federal report released Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s one-page analysis of the dramatic March 24 crash at the airport’s underground station said the Chicago Transit Authority train was traveling at 26 mph when it passed a “trip stop” that activated the emergency braking system.

“Due to the train speed, the distance from the fixed trip stop to the track bumper post was too short to stop the train,” according to the report.

More than 30 people were injured when the train slammed into the bumper at the end of the line, hopped onto the platform and scaled an escalator, causing $9.1 million in damage. Authorities have said the timing of the crash, which happened just before 3 a.m., limited the number of injuries because so few people were on the typically busy platform and escalator.

In a statement Monday, the CTA said has taken steps to improve safety, lowering the speed limit for trains entering the O’Hare station to 15 mph. The transit agency also moved the trip stop further back to increase stopping distance.

The driver told NTSB investigators she dozed off in the minutes before the before the crash and had done so on another occasion in February when she overshot another station platform. She had been operating trains for only two months and was an extra-board employee, which means she filled in for other drivers who called in sick or were on vacation.

Her union has said she worked a lot of overtime and was exhausted, a sentiment echoed Monday by the NTSB. The federal agency said the operator had worked nearly 60 hours in the previous week and was working her third-consecutive night shift.

“She told investigators that she had inadequate sleep,” the night before the crash, according to the report.

The CTA fired the operator on Friday.

Transit officials said they don’t believe her work schedule played a role in the crash, but announced a series of changes that the agency said will make its scheduling guidelines some of the most stringent among the nation’s large transit operations.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Do you think this crash could have been prevented? Take our poll here

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chattanooga School Fights for A Change

By Arielle Henson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Dozens of parents and students have gathered in front of the Hamilton County courthouse to protest a proposed budget that omits funding for a new Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1lgz2AA) reports parents said they planned to stay at the location through Wednesday, when the County Commission is scheduled to vote on the proposal from Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.

Children held signs supporting the school on Sunday afternoon and shouted and waved to passing cars.

Coppinger has said the county has enough funds to complete four of the school system’s six recommended school projects. His proposed budget left out the new building for the arts school and a new middle school in the East Hamilton area.

“We don’t have a voice inside that courthouse,” said Dana Cleckler, who has three children at CSLA. “We’re not a big enough entity in any one district to make noise and threaten a candidacy.”

CSLA has been asking for a new school for more than 25 years, but so far has been unsuccessful.

“We’ve been promised and they keep going back on their promises,” said Elizabeth Kimball, another CSLA mother. “At what point are they going to just give the money up or say to us, ‘this is it. This is exactly how long you have to wait.’”

Instead, they just keep saying “you can have the money. Don’t give up, don’t give up.”

Parents say the condition of the building keeps deteriorating.

“Our school is falling down and my son has asthma and he has to go into a portable that has mildew because there was a leak,” Kimball said. “They try to fix it but they’re just putting Band-Aids on the problem.”

___

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

Fire and Police Pension Gets The OK By City Council

By Arielle Henson

CHATTANOOGA,Tenn. (UTC/ The loop) — Chattanooga City Council okay’d the fire and police pension plan on Tuesday of last week following months of negotiations.

Mayor Andy Berke stood before the council and attendees addressing recent issues with the pension while ensuring changes will be made to the plan.

“We couldn’t look someone in the eyes and promise what was going to happenin the future, ” said Berke. “By adopting these changes we will actually be able to look these people in the eyes and say ‘ you are going to actually receive the benefits you expect’.”

Berke said the city can expect three things from the pension plan:

  • A more motivated work force
  • It will attract quality employees
  • Show our responsibility to the tax payers

Some citizens of Chattanooga are not so sure that this will be true for pensioners. Retired police Sgt. Kirk Salter has been fighting this pension since the beginning.

” I’m a firecracker and I’m not through with them yet,” said Satler. ” Travis McDonald and Andy Berke are no friends to public safety.”

Although the Chattanooga City Council has passed this plan, there are several steps to go through before the pension plan will actually be put into play.

Chattanooga City Council Chambers

Chattanooga City Council Chambers

Knoxville City Council has shut down the same pension plan that Mayor Berke has suggested for Chattanoogan’s. President of the Firefighter’s Association of Knoxville, Kevin Faddis, has made his opinion on the pension plan very clear and plans to continue to do so in hopes that cities like Chattanooga will listen.

“We have made concessions, we will continue to make SOME concessions,” said Faddis. ” We dont do what we do for money, obviously. But we would like to at least retire with some dignity.”

He said he has worked for the city of Knoxville for over 18 years and has no plans for retiring anytime soon, but hopes this can be resolved before his time with the department comes to an end.

Faddis thinks there are ways to fix these problems and cutting pensions is not the answer.” They certainly could cut non essential projects, ” he said.

While the city may be in a large amount of debt, is cutting pensions the right way to go?

“You pay for a service (taxes) it may not be tangible for all at once, ” Faddis said, “but I can assure you, when citizens need us, we are there. No matter what.”

Graduation: So Close, Yet So Far Away For Many UTC Students.

By Arielle Henson

CHATTANOOGA, Tn (UTC/The Loop) – If you plan on graduating on time, think twice.
UTC students come in as freshman with the idea of graduating on a four-year path, but that may not be the case these days.

Many classes that are necessary for graduation requirements are only being offered once a semester and at one time slot.

Caitlyn Mantooth, UTC senior, said she has had several adjuncts over the years and noticed their times are offered less often.

UTC grad“ I think if UTC departments hired less adjuncts and more full-time professors, we would not have this problem,” Mantooth said. “ Full-time professors have more flexible schedules while adjuncts typically have other jobs.”

Some have expressed their frustration surrounding this issue and it has been resolved quickly.

Michael Andrews, UTC communication professor, has seen change happen within the Communication Department already.

“It was to the point where there were far too many students in one class and Dr. Alderman realized this and now has Dr. Harris teaching another section of senior seminar along side of Dr. Sachsman,” Andrews said.

The communication department, however, is not the only department with this problem.

Cody Dowler, UTC Junior, said he had to wait an entire semester to take Spanish Two because it was only offered in the spring, putting him an entire semester behind for graduation.

While this seems to be a big problem on this campus, what can be done to change it?

Kami Rowe, UTC Junior, said, “ If they offer more sections at a higher capacity than 15-20, that would help. I know I have a hard time getting into my communication electives because they are small classes.”

Professor Andrews also thinks there can be change made through students speaking with department heads.

“I would say that students need to register their concerns with department heads and let them know you can’t graduate because this class is not available,” he said.

Here is how you can make a difference in your department:

  • Speak  with the department head and give a supported reason why you need another section
  • Speak with other students to have a support group behind you

Colorado Shooter Returns to Court

By Arielle Henson

JH

James Holmes as he awaits the information from a hearing.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP/The Loop) — Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes returned to court Monday for a closed hearing on whether he should get a second psychiatric evaluation. Holmes is charged with the July 2012 Aurora shootings that killed 12 people and injured 70. Here are five things to know about the case so far:

1. WHERE THINGS STAND: Holmes’ lawyers acknowledge he was the shooter but say he was, and still is, mentally ill. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation at the Colorado state hospital last summer. The findings haven’t been made public, but prosecutors want their own experts to do another evaluation, claiming the doctor who conducted the first one was biased.

2. WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK: The two sides are arguing about whether Holmes should undergo another evaluation. Victims, the general public and reporters are barred from the courtroom; the judge says publicizing the testimony could influence potential jurors and make it impossible for Holmes to get a fair trial. Witnesses will include the psychiatrist who evaluated Holmes at the state hospital.

3. WHAT’S AT STAKE: A verdict on whether Holmes was insane could determine if he lives or dies. If he is found insane, he can’t be executed and would be committed indefinitely to the state hospital. If he is found sane and convicted, he would be executed or sentenced to life in prison without parole. Both sides are fighting fiercely over any evidence that would influence a jury either way.

4. WHAT’S NEXT: Sometime after this week’s hearing, the judge will decide on another sanity evaluation by prosecution experts. That could help determine whether prosecutors keep pressing for a trial in hopes of getting a death sentence or possibly opt to negotiate a plea deal that would put Holmes in prison for life.

5. WHY IT’S TAKING SO LONG: Holmes’ trial was to start in February, but the judge postponed it indefinitely while the two sides argue over a second sanity evaluation. In a death-penalty case where the defendant pleads insanity, multiple hearings are required to resolve complex legal questions, including what evidence can be introduced, what jurors can be told and what rights the defendant surrenders by pleading insanity.

___

Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.