When something declines in demand, it is sensible for it to be moved somewhere less important.
Possibly a place where it won’t be seen often.
This makes room for meaningful things to be brought to the forefront.
By this logic, why have we moved Pacific University’s Bookstore, which is declining in demand, back to the UC, the heart of campus?
Operated by Barnes & Noble, the bookstore resided in the UC until it relocated to Pacific Avenue in 2008 because it needed the extra 2,000 square-feet of space.
This year, the bookstore returned to the UC. According to Director of Media Relations Joe Lang, more students use e-readers and no longer require textbooks, therefore ceasing the need for extra space and confirming the bookstore’s diminishing relevance.
While the new Starbucks was implemented to “enhance the feel of socializing opportunities,” the bookstore’s return has punctured an empty, deserted hole right in the heart of campus.
On Thursday, April 23, I observed the bookstore from Starbucks during a peak hour (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) and witnessed a total of eight people walk through the store and only four make purchases.
As an unnamed worker at the bookstore asserted, “It’s never busy.”
I understand it saves Pacific money not having to rent out the location off-campus, but it’s possible to both save money and not waste precious space.
Students don’t need physical space to walk around and find textbooks anymore; we have ample amount of virtual space to do so.
Picking up textbooks in another location, perhaps Marsh Hall would be very practical.
School supplies the bookstore sells could easily be sold in the POD, and other Pacific merchandise can already be found off-campus.
The real crime in all of this is what that space could be used for.
Being in a high-traffic area of campus, that space makes a big statement about Pacific.
The bookstore makes money and promotes some school spirit, but is this what the heart of campus should be about?
An extra 24-hour study area with the TLC and the Civic Engagement program moved there would highlight good educational and community building values.
Adding a lounge or perhaps more food options would increase student satisfaction and be appealing for future incoming students.
There are many options and opportunities to use that space to continue Pacific University’s growth, but an empty bookstore shouldn’t be one of them.