Campus News

Karaoke and a movie night…at the Campus Store?

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You may have noticed more than just heaps of snow clobbering Bethel College upon your return from Christmas Break. The Campus Store has a brand new face thanks to  new store manager, Teresa Gollnick. Gollnick and her employees are working double time to bring the Bethel community some changes and improvements, beginning with a transition to purchasing textbooks only online.  If you haven’t already noticed, the Campus Store has brought in new merchandise, added new items to their convenience store and lowered prices on many of their previously existing foods and beverages. Gollnick, a 2000 graduate from Bethel’s organizational management program, has taken on the new title of Campus Store Manager. So what brought her back to the Bethel Bubble? “The Christian atmosphere is the big thing for me,” said Gollnick after explaining how former store manager Bonnie Moore had notified her of the new opening. Moore said she felt God calling her to another opportunity last semester and admired Gollnick’s previous experience managing Southwestern Michigan College’s book store in Dowagiac, MI for 17 years. Gollnick discusses some the Campus Store’s changes hoping to draw more publicity into the store. “Actually, I’m planning to make quite a lot of changes,” began Gollnick.  “We want to bring in something like a student hangout area.” campus storeIf everything goes as planned, this “student hangout area” will include a Nintendo 64 (with Mario Brothers, Gollnick’s favorite), air hockey, and new community activities such as karaoke and movie nights. While some changes have already occurred, you’ll see the majority of changes happening as soon as February. Along with the student hangout, the Campus Store will incorporate new technology and a whole new line of clothing. “We are bringing in Under Armor, Hurley, Nike, more clothing that’s more well known to students,” said Gollnick. “Pretty much anything that students ask us to do, we’re going to do what we can do to make it happen.” With a new face comes change. And while change may be hard, it usually proves rewarding. “Since I have been here so long, it’s a little bit interesting to see the changes,” began Bess Lyons, a Campus Store worker and junior at Bethel. “But I think they’re all for the better. Change is not necessarily always easy to get used to, but it’s usually worth it in the end.” Why all these changes?  The ideas for some of these modifications actually came from former manager Moore; however, Gollnick had previous experience with these new ideas at her past store and saw great results from them. “These are things that I implemented and that I changed there [at SMC],” explained Gollnick. “The response from the students and the faculty and the staff was just overwhelming.” Lyons hopes these new and exciting modifications will draw a larger crowd. “The cheaper prices on the food are really good because we got a lot of complaints about that earlier,” stated Lyons. “And we’re just getting a wider range of items.” With the old textbook area’s transformation into more of a social gathering area, Lyons is certain it will add loads of fun. Freshman Brittany Gibson believes the Campus Store already does a wonderful job, but admits she buys much of her food at Kroger across the street. What if she could avoid that treacherous walk in the snow and just stay on campus? “If I know there’s a sale, I’ll go for it,” said Gibson. Lucky for her, the prices on food and drink items have indeed dropped. If you don’t believe them, go look for yourself. After all, it is a shorter walk than to Kroger. Now let’s cut to the chase and address the elephant in the room. Why is the Campus Store no longer selling textbooks? “From what I understand, the reason they did that is because sales had dropped significantly because a lot of people were going to Amazon,” explained Gollnick. “They just thought it would afford students more opportunities to order the books online because you have other options besides from the school.” The Campus Store sees this transition as a benefit to students because they have more options, more affordability, and are still allowed to use their financial aid. Gibson, like many students, is not in full support of the Campus Store’s transition to only selling textbooks online. “I think it’s kind of unfortunate because if your books don’t come in on time,” Gibson said.  “You can’t get them in the book store.” While Gibson does make a valid point, Gollnick reassures her that new isn’t always easy. “Any time you start anything new, you’re going to have problems,” said Gollnick. “There are going to be things you have to fix; trial and error. I think next semester will go much smoother.” Gollnick welcomes all feedback and suggestions from students and the Bethel community. In fact, she encourages it. “We really want to know how they feel about the Campus Store or if there’s something they’d liked to see in the Campus Store,” said Gollnick. Stop in this semester to explore the improved Campus Store. Meet the new manager, cruise through the new inventory, and learn about fresh and exciting events coming soon. Because their customers come first, the Campus Store wants your comments and suggestions. “We want to bring them in,” concluded Gollnick. “We want them to be excited about the Campus Store.”  
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