UNCW bookstore betterment in the works

Lauren Clairmont | Assistant Lifestyles Editor

It’s the first week of classes, which for most students means the end of a steady cash flow from a summer job. We have to start thinking about how we’re going to manage our bi-weekly trips to Fuzzy Peach, parking at the beach when the free lots are full, the cover charge at Dirty Mega, and those 2 am stints at Cook-Out-all on a fixed budget.


Then factor in a $400 trip to the bookstore, and the walls start to feel like they’re closing in.

However, unbeknownst to many students, the administration understands the financial pressure students feel at the beginning of every semester.


Last spring, representatives from Academic Affairs, Athletics, Business Affairs and the Student Government Association evaluated proposals from various vendors for control of the UNCW bookstore in the coming years. After much deliberation, the committee decided to renew UNCW’s contract with Barnes & Noble for another 5 years.


“They recognize the long-term trend of campus bookstores to add community value,” said Sharon Boyd, associate vice chancellor for Business Affairs. “That means providing excellent online services through the web and social media, and offering an inviting retail store concept, a place in the heart of campus where people want to gather. Barnes and Noble’s store redesigns on other campuses have shown their commitment to this strategy for success.” 


This new contract emphasizes improvements in every area from controlling textbook costs and a new technology store to more apparel and gift options. But the most exciting news for most students is the remodeling of the bookstore to include a mini Starbucks café. How this will affect sales at Dunkin’ Donuts, Einstein’s and Port City Java is yet to be discussed, but students are enthusiastic about the popular coffee chain coming to campus next summer.


Junior Lauren Waters has another reason to celebrate the renewed contract with Barnes & Noble. As the newly elected president of the UNCW Habitat for Humanity college chapter, Waters was thrilled to hear about Barnes & Nobles’ philanthropic partnership with the international nonprofit.


The campaign focuses on social networking initiatives for spreading word about Habitat’s mission. By simply sharing the Barnes & Noble College/Habitat for Humanity page, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the organization. Other options include networking on the UNCW campus bookstore Facebook page to win $1000 for our campus chapter.


“This is a great opportunity for our Habitat chapter to gain support all over campus,” said Waters.


With cheaper textbook options, caramel machiattos and causes we can feel good about, the UNCW bookstore is sure to become a place of comfort, rather than stress, in the near future.