UTC Students: Don’t Fall Victim to the Textbook Buyback Scam

By: Robresha Jackson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – It’s that time of year again where college bookstores rip off its students with buyback rates students sell their old textbooks back to their school’s bookstore for instant cash!

There is a large outcry among college students about high textbook prices and low buyback rates

The only problem is students are barely receiving half of the money they paid for their textbooks in the beginning of the semester, causing more students to speak out.  Many feel as though they are being ripped off by the very bookstore that they paid hundreds of dollars to in exchange for required textbooks they only need for a few months.

“It’s extremely unfair, because they profit an insane amount compared to what they give you. Especially since they sell them for only about twenty or so dollars cheaper than a new book,” said Middle Tennessee State University Senior Jasmon Atkins.

 Do you think your college bookstore offers reasonable buyback rates?

Although we must keep in mind that our college bookstores are essentially businesses that need to make money, there are ways that both parties can benefit.

According to this article, textbook buyback has the potential to be a triple-win situation where students get cash for selling their books, college bookstores get in-demand used titles to put on their shelves, and future students are offered money-saving used editions during the next term. In the midst of that, it also decreases the environmental strain that additional textbook printing would cause.

There are five things that bookstores take into consideration before buying back textbooks:

  • Whether the book will be used in the following term or not
  • The condition of the book
  • Whether or not a new edition of the book will be released
  • Whether or not the book has all of its pieces (CDs, kits, etc.)
  • Enrollment numbers for a particular course in the following term

The standards of buyback rates are also noteworthy. If there is a high demand for a particular book and a student bought that book new, the bookstore guarantees them 50% of their original cost. If a book is bought used and there is a demand, the bookstore pays up to 67%. If a book is not in-demand on your campus, but is in-demand on another campus, that bookstore will pay the student up to 35% and ship that book to another university for profit.

Ultimately, it is up to the student to decide how and where they will purchase their books, but here are some tips for buying books and selling them back in hopes of at least getting half of what was paid for them:

Do your research. Before going into your school’s bookstore look online at other sites such as Amazon and Chegg to see if they are buying the books you need for a more reasonable exchange. Also keep in mind that just because a book was new when it was purchased (in your school’s bookstore) doesn’t mean that you will get more money from buyback.


Average buyback rates from online businesses

Communicate with other students. Some students sell books to friends or other peers who will be taking that class in the future. At least with that you can regulate your own prices to make some profit.

The early bird catches the worm. If you are selling your books back to your school’s bookstore, do it as early as possible! When bookstores know that a particular book will be used again, they set a quota for the amount of books they will take back so the earlier you get there, the more money you get back.

Another pearl of wisdom: Students can sell textbooks back for as much as 28% more by selling during the right months. July, August and January are the best times to sell back while April and December are the worst times.

Good luck!

For more advice on textbooks, check out the links below:

How Do Teachers Choose Textbooks: A Guide for UTC Students – Rose Street

The Budget Savvy UTC Student – Charnele Box

UTC student are going broke due to textbook prices – Taylor Ellis

Paula Deen Restaurant Closes Without Telling Employees

By: Robresha Jackson

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP/UTC The Loop) — A wildly popular Georgia restaurant at the center of a lawsuit that left the reputation of famed Southern celebrity cook Paula Deen in shambles has reportedly closed.

Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House announced the closure Thursday on its Facebook page, The Savannah Morning News (http://bit.ly/1owsS1s) and WSAV television (http://bit.ly/1gseldc) reported.

“Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba’s is now closed,” the Facebook message said.

Deen’s brother, restaurant operator Bubba Hiers, decided to shut the eatery’s doors “in order to explore development options for the waterfront property on which the restaurant is located,” the reports said, quoting a statement from the Key Group public relations and marketing company. “At this point, no specific plans have been announced,” the statement said.

The closure was effective as of Thursday, and employees will be provided with severance pay and assistance looking for new jobs, the statement said.

Deen co-owned the restaurant with Hiers, who oversaw daily operations. Former employee Lisa Jackson sued them both in 2012, saying she worked in an environment rife with racial slurs and sexual innuendo during her five years as manager of the restaurant.

The case got little attention outside Savannah until Deen herself was questioned under oath in a legal deposition. A transcript filed with the court the following month showed Deen acknowledged using racial slurs in the past. When an attorney asked if she had ever used the N-word, Deen replied: “Yes, of course.” She also added, “It’s been a very long time.”

Within a few days, the Food Network said it would not renew Deen’s contract and yanked her shows off the air. Smithfield Foods, the pork producer that paid Deen as a celebrity endorser, dropped her soon after. Retailers including Wal-Mart and Target said they would no longer sell Deen’s products, and publisher Ballantine scuttled plans for a cookbook even though it was the No. 1 seller on Amazon.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last year after lawyers reached a deal.

This year, Deen has attempted to make a comeback, staging public cooking demonstrations and announcing plans for a new restaurant in Tennessee.

In February she announced that private investment firm Najafi Companies was investing $75 million to $100 million to help her bounce back, and that as part of the deal, she was launching an umbrella company, Paula Deen Ventures, to oversee her restaurants, cookbooks and product endorsements.

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

Will you eat at Paula Deen’s new restaurant?

9/11 museum to open May 21

By: Robresha Jackson

NEW YORK (AP/UTC The Loop)— A long-awaited museum dedicated to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will open to the public at the World Trade Center site on May 21, officials announced Monday.

The opening will follow a May 15 ceremony and a six-day dedication period during which the museum will be open around the clock for 9/11 family members, rescue and recovery workers and others directly affected by the 2001 attacks, said Joe Daniels, president of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

“We want to make sure that our doors are open for them to see it before the public does,” Daniels said.

The museum includes two core exhibitions at the foundation of the trade center complex.

One of them, called “In Memoriam,” pays tribute to the 2,983 people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as well as the six people killed in a truck bombing at the trade center on February 26, 1993. The other, a three-part historical exhibition, tells the story of Sept. 11 and explores what led to the terrorist strikes.

The museum’s regular hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

“This is a major milestone,” Daniels said. “It’s just a very real marker of the rebirth of the World Trade Center.”

Planners had originally hoped that the museum could open in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Construction delays were made worse by flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy and by a funding dispute with the site’s owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, stopping all work for nearly a year.

The planned ticket price of $24 has angered some Sept. 11 family members.

Retired Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches and Sally Regenhard, each of whom lost firefighter sons in the attacks, complained earlier this year that the museum “was never intended to be a revenue-generating tourist attraction with a prohibitive budget and entrance fee.” Museum officials defend the planned ticket price, saying the museum’s operations are privately funded.

Daniels said there will be no admission charge for relatives of Sept. 11 victims or for rescue and recovery workers. Children age 6 and younger will get in free, and admission will be free for everyone on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

There will continue to be no charge to enter the World Trade Center memorial plaza, which is already open. About 5.3 million people visited the plaza last year to see the two huge fountains that sit in the original footprints of the twin towers.


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

UTC To Celebrate Black History All Month

By: Robresha Jackson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – One realm of American history that absolutely cannot be denied is that of African Americans.

The contributions that African Americans have made to this country entails a story full of tribulations and triumphs that we have all learned about one way or another throughout our school years. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is continuing to share the story by paying homage and celebrating Black History Month for the entire month of February on campus.

The events are a product of UTC’s Office of Multicultural Affairs paring with numerous businesses, clubs, and organizations throughout the Chattanooga area in order to continue their promotion of diversity and cultural awareness on campus.


Student from last year’s play “Our Story: Diaspora”
Photo courtesy of UTC

Just about every day of the month there will be an event either on or off-campus that represents some form of African American culture. These events range from poetry/open mic night, to movie night, and a stage play. Senior Edwina Calloway, who attended last year’s play “Our Story: Diaspora” says she is looking forward to seeing what students have put together this year.

“It is written by students for students. The play I attended last year was really good so I can’t wait for this years’,” she said.


Marian Anderson String Quartet
Photo courtesy of UTC

Another one of the most anticipated events of the month is the appearance of the award-winning Marian Anderson String Quartet who will conduct a musical residency in the city.

  • They will perform a concert on Friday, February 21, 7:30 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at UTC.
  • The event will be open to the public with a $5 admission charge per person.
  • More information on this particular event can be found here
  • See a live performance of the Quartet in the video below.

In the midst of the excitement surrounding these events, Senior Jasmine Ray feels that Black History Month isn’t as emphasized on the college level as it was in her former years, but hopes that everyone is still able to see the bigger picture.

“I hope that the events remind everyone that ‘Black History’ is a part of everyday living and not just the month of February,” Ray said.

See the full calendar of events here

Sesame Street Boosts Healthy Eating Habits In Children

By: Robresha Jackson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (AP/UTC The Loop) – Bert and Ernie jump rope and munch apples and carrots, and Cookie Monster has his namesake treat once a week, not every day. Can a Muppets mini-makeover improve kids’ health, too?

A three-year experiment in South America suggests it can. Now, the Sesame Street project is coming to the United States.

sesame street

For Sesame Street, the project offered a chance to improve the lives of young viewers and give a makeover to certain Muppets.

Already, a test run in a New York City preschool has seen results: Four-year-old Jahmeice Strowder got her mom to make cauliflower for the first time in her life. A classmate, Bryson Payne, bugged his dad for a banana every morning and more salads. A parent brought home a loaf of bread instead of Doritos.

“What we created, I believe, is a culture” of healthy eating to fight a “toxic environment” of junk food and too little exercise, said Dr. Valentin Fuster, a cardiologist at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Six years ago, he started working with Sesame Workshop, producers of television’s Sesame Street, on a project aimed at 3-to-5-year-olds.

“At that age they pay attention to everything” and habits can be changed, he said.

The need is clear: A third of U.S. children and teens are obese or overweight. Many don’t get enough exercise, and a recent study found that kids’ fitness has declined worldwide. They’re at high risk for heart and other problems later in life.

  1. “The focus is younger and younger” to try to prevent this, said Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado pediatrician and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. The group’s annual conference in November featured Fuster’s experiment as one of the year’s top achievements in heart disease prevention.
  2. For Sesame Street, the project offered a chance to improve the lives of young viewers and give a makeover to certain Muppets.
  3. “While Cookie Monster is an engaging figure, we felt there was an opportunity there to really model healthy eating,” said Jorge Baxter, regional director for Latin America for Sesame Workshop.

The new message is that certain things like cookies are “something you can eat sometimes, but there are some foods that you can eat all the time,” like vegetables, he said. The healthy messages have been gradually incorporated into the television show, and its producers even made a doctor Muppet — Dr. Ruster (pronounced “Rooster”) — in Fuster’s image for the preschool project.

It launched in Colombia because U.S. schools that Fuster approached years ago were reluctant, but a wealthy family’s foundation was willing to sponsor the experiment in Bogota.

It involved 1,216 children and 928 parents from 14 preschools. Some were given the program and others served as a comparison group.

Kids had training on healthy habits and how the body works for an hour a day for five months using Sesame Workshop-produced videos, a board game (the “heart game”), songs, posters and activities. Parents were involved through take-home assignments and workshops that focused on overcoming barriers to good food and exercise. For example, in areas with poor access to parks or play spaces, parents were coached to encourage kids to use stairs instead of elevators and to walk instead of taking a bus.

Children’s weight and exercise habits were measured at the start and 1 1/2 and 3 years later. Although many moved or dropped out by the time the study ended, researchers documented a significant increase in knowledge, attitude and health habit scores among kids in the program versus the comparison group.

The proportion of children at a healthy weight increased from 62 percent at the start to 75 percent at three years for those in the program. Ironically, in Colombia, that mostly meant that more undernourished kids grew to reach a healthy weight.

In New York, where the program plans to launch in several early childhood and Head Start programs this spring and fall, project leaders will have to tackle under- and overweight kids.

“A lot of the kids are from low-income families, shelters,” and many have poor access to healthy foods, said Rachael Lynch, director of educational services for an Episcopal Social Services preschool, The Learning Center, in Harlem. “It’s a mecca for fast food around here. We’re trying to get them to walk past the Chinese food or pizza or McDonald’s, to go home and make something.”

Her preschool tested the Sesame Street project last summer and “it really took off” with kids and parents, she said.

“They love it. The kids relate, I can’t stress it enough,” to the Sesame Street characters, she said.

The program had kids work in a nearby community garden one day a week to learn about growing vegetables. They had a “mystery food box” to reach inside, feel and guess the contents, then use what they found to make a healthy snack such as smoothies, fruit salads, microwaved baked apples and apple dip.

Children took home a “weekend update” to list and draw pictures of what they ate. Parents were asked to sign it to encourage an adult focus on healthy meals.

Kateshia Strowder said the program had a big impact on her and her daughter, Jahmeice.

“We’d be in the grocery store and she would name every vegetable. It’s amazing. Brussels sprouts — she likes it. Cabbage — she likes it,” Strowder said. “I’m not a vegetable eater, to be honest. But I had to learn to do those things for her.”

Donte Payne said the same for his son, Bryson, a 4-year-old who also was in the Harlem program.

“It made him more interested in eating more healthy things,” Payne said. “He became very interested in salads. He loves salad now.”

In Colombia, the program is now expanding to about 20,000 children, and in Spain, a project is starting in Madrid. In New York, a foundation Fuster runs at Mount Sinai will sponsor the U.S. launch, aided by private donors.

Dr. Jaime Cespedes, a pediatric and heart specialist who helped lead the project in Colombia believes it will succeed wherever it is tried.

“Sesame knows kids, knows media and how to communicate the messages,” he said. “When you get the kids to deliver the message to the family, change will come.”


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

White House Can’t Force Kimmel Off Air

By Robresha Jackson

WASHINGTON (AP/UTC The Loop) — The White House has responded to a petition calling for an apology and the removal of Jimmy Kimmel’s television show by saying the comedian can’t be forced off the air.

More than 105,000 people signed the petition on the White House website. It followed an October broadcast of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” featuring a segment in which Kimmel spoke to young children about U.S. government debt owed to China.

One boy said “kill everyone in China” when Kimmel asked how the U.S. should repay China.

In its response, the White House noted that ABC and Kimmel have apologized, and that the network has removed the segment from future broadcasts and its online platforms.

The White House also noted that the Constitution protects free speech, even when it’s offensive.


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