By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer
One of the most common dissatisfactions for students when it comes to going to the campus bookstore is its work hours. WLU’s Barnes and Noble is normally open only Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
However, many students do not know that the bookstore is also open during many special events on campus.
“The bookstore works closely with the University to coordinate special store hours during admissions weekends and other important events,” store manager Gina Hickey said. “For example, the bookstore is open on the weekend for every home football game and provides a stadium trailer as well for WLU fans.”
Barnes & Noble opened a bookstore at WLU in 1992. Since then, the company has been working with the University administration to create a schedule fitting the campus needs. Only these needs might be changing.
The majority of the offices on campus are also unavailable to students on weekends. The Elbin Library, The Grille and Jazzman’s, the only coffee shop on campus, are all closed for the entirety of Saturday. The swimming pool is also closed on both Saturday and Sunday. As a result, students prefer not to stay on campus.
“It’s like the life here is supposed to stop every Friday afternoon,” said a campus resident Polina Peleneva. “Only it doesn’t. There are people staying on campus on weekends, but there is nothing to do. Can’t even buy a candy bar that isn’t from a vending machine.”
Students’ frustration with what many call “dead zone” time is understandable. It is unfair to ignore students who ask for facilities that have already been put in for student use to be open.
“The majority of my friends lived on campus, and they frequently complained about having nothing interesting to do,” said WLU alumnus Joshua Taylor. “It would be very helpful to at least have campus services more readily available for the students who do not leave campus often.”
As a student, Taylor was a commuter and did not understand the issues many campus residents faced until he decided to get something memorable from his alma mater last December.
“I wanted to buy a West Lib sweatshirt for my dad for Christmas. I work full time in Wheeling and don’t get off work until 5 p.m. I realize that sometimes campus services are understaffed, but having that extra time would have been very nice,” Taylor said.
The bookstore hours are determined by popular demand. According to Hickey, “The bookstore sees its heaviest traffic in the morning and early afternoon hours.” Yet, such demand might be a result of students not having any other option.
Students often hear that everything is closed on weekends because so many people leave campus. Yet, a lot of people leave campus because there is nowhere for them to go or anything to do. Most doors are literally closed and locked for those who spend their weekends on the Hilltop.
It’s time to stop thinking about immediate revenue and start building a stronger campus community. That will be a win-win for both businesses and students on campus.
Photo credit: Natasha Muhametzyanova