Main content

FreeStore Free World

May 31, 2024

Rama Diallo
Major: Journalism and Media Studies
Class of 2026

During our comeback semester, it has been a bit rocky with finding our footing again. But even with all of that, the student’s response to the Freestore reopening has been a positive one. Every Freestore donation has taken us a step closer to our overall goal of sustainability. But there is so much more growth that we could do!

Working at the free store comes with its fun but also it comes with its challenges. The fun comes in when you’re organizing the many different knickknacks and clothes that students have. Personally, I’ve hung up a Freddy Fazebear costume. But the challenges come when we realize that we aren’t using this space to its full potential.

One of the reasons why there should be more done with the free store is because it is a space for students. The best way to describe it is if The Stood was more of a calm cafe. I want students to have a third space away from a lot of the distractions that are on this campus. A place to do some work, thrift, or chill with some friends.

I think if we give the free store more of a coffee shop kind of vibe. It could be endearing and give students a separate space away from Einsteins and Starbucks if they were looking for another option. We could collaborate with D-Hall where using a meal swipe while in the free store gives you access to the coffee machines for however long they choose to sit there.

I would also want to give people more access to the freestore. We have boxes around campus for freestore dropoff. However the places where these boxes are, don’t make it easy for students who live in on-campus housing such as the Commons or Alumni Village. I propose that instead of placing the donation boxes in the Hub or the Library, I think placing them closer to the Commons and Alumni. People often find being sustainable a difficult task. So if we want to encourage more students to be sustainable we should help them as best as we can.

Speaking of encouraging students, The best way to connect with students is to use social media! I noticed that there was an Instagram page for the freestore which has been more active this semester, however, it still needs a little work. We should make our posts more engaging so that people see them and we don’t have to spread things word of mouth.

We could do segments on Instagram such as “Outfit of the day” where the workers can create an outfit just with the materials in the store. Or if we want to do something simple, time lapses of our shift and what we do throughout it. Or even anything else that could catch people’s attention and bring more people to the free store.

Now we don’t have to implement every single one of these ideas but I think that if we want to find balance and routine we should switch up and get out of our comfort zone more. We must spread the word as much as we can! Remember, Freestore = Freeworld!