August 9, 2008

Bookstore Drama Heats Up Again

It's been some time since there have been any noteworthy developments on the plans to relocate the college bookstore to Raymond Ave, but it seems that faculty members have been using their time off this summer to take action against the relocation.

According to the Urban Studies Majors Committee's blog, 61 faculty members signed a letter to Cappy in July asking her to reconsider her position on the relocation.

"All of us are troubled by the possibility that the College might establish a corporate-owned bookstore in what is currently the Juliet Café. We are especially concerned for the well-being of the Three Arts Bookstore, a small business with a long, proud history in our area. Recent research into the effect of large chain establishments on particular communities has shown, among other results, that they generate a huge disparity between gross income, and income that actually stays in the community."

The letter continues to request that the decision to relocate the bookstore "be postponed until further faculty and community discussion" can be held.

Cappy met with some faculty members shortly after, and according to another letter, Cappy announced that "plans for the bookstore are going forward," but she will "consider delaying any signing of a contract with Barnes and Noble until a larger meeting among faculty could take place."

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

three arts should just run the bookstore

Anonymous said...

that would be cool

Anonymous said...

either that or just DON"T MOVE THE BOOKSTORE

Anonymous said...

yeah... what's wrong with the current one? i don't get it. is it too small?

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, the Three Arts was not interested in running the bookstore.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, the owner of the Three Arts does not feel that his/her(?) business would be threatened by a Barnes and Noble, and actually feels that the extra foot traffic could increase sales, since the two stores would be selling two different types of products - textbooks & commercial books vs. more obscure and independent books.

Anonymous said...

This has always been a failure of an idea. It is srsly time to abandon it.

Anonymous said...

2:19 is absolutely right. vassar should not invest its large resources in buying properties from absent landlords and then actually manage the properties. instead vassar should purchase designer clothes for current students. *that* would be a "success of an idea." with our fancy clothes we could all get jobs at big investment banks where we could become rich, which is what really matters. srsly.

Anonymous said...

here is what bothers me about a lot of these kinds of discussions on campus: i think it is a terrible idea to speak out of ignorance and yet some number of vassar students do it all the time. vassar already owns all that property through it's own corporation, College Properties LLC. the college simply didn't renew the lease of the Juliette. there is so much opinion about this move and so little knowledge of the facts that it makes me wonder whether anyone bothers to "go to the source" anymore at all. get this people: just because you "feel" a certain way doesn't make it an informed opinion. use those "feelings" to motivate yourselves to actually read all the misc articles and urban studies letters about it and then discuss it. write a well-reasoned letter or email to cappy. CC the faculty leadership, which, if you are unaware of it, can be found through the Dean of the Faculty's office, or through the college Governance, which you have a right to access. but of course if you are more interested in complaining and feigning activism, well, then you won't do these things. do you honestly think cappy or anyone else will take you seriously with simplistic arguments or an inadequate grasp on the information that is out there? for goodness sake, people, get smart already.

cheers to the urban studies majors who understand this and are taking active, responsible steps to promote dialogue on this issue.

Anonymous said...

i repeat... does anyone know what is wrong with the current one?

Anonymous said...

i think that moving the bookstore off campus has less to do with something being "wrong with" the current bookstore, and more with the desire to "enhance" the surrounding area... as vassar has to compete with other colleges for admitted students, it would help if the area within walking distance of campus were more commercialized. the idea is that the added foot traffic of people walking to and from the bookstore would cause people to go into the other businesses, buy their goods, keep them in business, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the powers that be sat us all down and explained the decisions being made? I was disappointed by the lack of transparency in changes to Vassar. As students who will be affected, I think that we have the right to more than secret committees in decisions as important (to me at least) as a change in the food plan. Props to the urban studies majors for using their knowledge to analyze the bookstore move. Mads, is there a link to their reasons for opposing it?

Anonymous said...

why does the administration still feel the need to compete when the past two years the number of students who choose Vassar is greater than the administration expected/can handle?

Anonymous said...

maybe more vassar students would venture out to collegeview/raymond if there were stores we actually wanted to go to...

i mean, weird ass clothing stores and a shitty deli and the smelly dollar store? even if the bookstore's over there, that doesn't mean that all of the other businesses will miraculously become more appealing.

Anonymous said...

there's another great reason to move the bookstore: if it's not underneath the college center - the most centrally located part of campus - we will have a massive space that can be reallocated for the things that we, as students, really need: 24 hour study space, a place to meet and eat after the retreat closes, and we can reclaim the college center as a center for students, not as barnes and nobles on-campus office.

this move brings two benefits: an enhancement to arlington and an enhancement to our campus' student needs.

Anonymous said...

I have to say after Yale changed the Yale book store on Broadway in New Haven to a BN, it promoted other stores to move in and now there is really nice shopping for students with commercial and quirky stores and dining for about 4 blocks, where you would never even attempt to walk with out a pit bull before BN came in. Students protested it at first, but the change did bring in committed stores (the traffic from the commercial stores helped the mom and pop stores) and revitalized the area. It is actually nice to go shopping, have dinner and then catch a show at Toads in New Haven. I think it could work for our small college town too.

Charles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.