Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Out with the old and in with the new: Amazon textbook contract officially expired

eCampus will continue to offer free two-day student shipping
(Collegian File Photo)

Partnering with the cold of December comes the official end to the textbook contract between the University of Massachusetts and Amazon, making room for the next textbook provider, eCampus.

“One of the big factors in choosing the next textbook provider for the University was affordability,” said Wei Cai, the Student Government Association secretary of public relations.  “So, in choosing eCampus, they’ve ensured that prices will be affordable and even better than Amazon in some cases.”

eCampus will be offering the benefits of free two-day shipping for students and new pickup points for textbooks in the Campus Center and in the Hampden Gallery in Southwest Residential Area, according to Cai. Students can also still pick up their textbooks from their own residential service desks.

Although the Amazon store will remain open, students will not be able to receive some of the same benefits when purchasing textbooks compared to when UMass was partnered with the company.

SPIRE currently reflects course materials on eCampus for the spring 2019 semester.

Despite the new textbook contract, the SGA has been pushing for more affordability and open-resources for students, attempting to allow all students to take classes despite financial needs.

The Academic Oversight Committee and the Social Justice and Empowerment Committee of the SGA has continued to build upon their iclicker lending library, in which graduating seniors can donate their old iclickers in exchange for gift cards. Current students can then rent out these iclickers for the semester at no cost, Cai said.

“Although it’s still in the works right now, they’re working on getting professors to commit to more open resources such as uploading PDFs to Moodle and not making students buy a whole book to read an excerpt from it,” Cai explained.

Celine Delaronde, a sophomore nutrition major, said that she is happy with what she has heard from the new deal.

“The only thing I was worried about [with] the switch was that the textbook prices would be more expensive because I think eCampus is a smaller company,” Delaronde said.

“For a lot of students, the price of textbooks can really hinder them from taking a class they need or are really passionate about. That’s just upsetting to me, so I hope this provider is better,” Delaronde added.

Julianne Esposito, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, explained that she is relieved by the transition to more open resources in classrooms.

“Being in a STEM major, there’s just so many textbooks you need to buy every single semester,” said Esposito. “I hope the professors start to realize that textbooks really are expensive, even if you’re renting them, and that assigning these textbooks limits the opportunities of other students.”

It is unclear when the new pickup locations for eCampus will be built.


Gretchen Keller can be reached at [email protected].



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  • M

    MayaDec 5, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Just a correction- the iClicker library is only through the academic oversight committee, the social justice committee had nothing to do with it! Also, will the amazon pickup area stay? I remember hearing that it would stay but am not sure…

  • A

    amyDec 5, 2018 at 6:25 am

    You pay 13k or over to go to an university and you complain about books? Because a small portion of students are poor(less than 10 percent) then the policies for the whole college should be changed and textbooks not given out?

    This is college, textbooks are necessary to learn and the standard of education at umass is low enough to go a step further and throw away textbooks. Umass should abide by the same higher education standards as the rest of the country.