Baruch students express hopes for the future of vacant bookstore space

Jahlil Rush

The space previously used for the Baruch College bookstore still stands vacant, but students have called for the school to repurpose the space.

In a survey asking about students’ initial reactions to the bookstore closing, some have said they were disappointed in the loss of the bookstore area as they saw it as yet another hotspot for students to get together.

Some students such as transfer student Jennifer Baranyai, who is currently in her sophomore year, felt that they missed an opportunity to experience the campus feeling of going to an actual campus bookstore.

“Although I hadn’t been able to utilize the store yet, I was pretty shocked to hear about it,” Baranyai said. “It seemed like a staple in the building, and I was interested to use it more as I attended Baruch.”

Rumors about the Baruch College bookstore began circulating around in a subreddit post in October 2022, when a user shared a letter about the then-potential closure from someone alleging to be a member of Baruch’s faculty.  

Notification of the bookstore’s closure became clear during an Undergraduate Student Government Senate session in October 2022. It was later revealed that the Barnes and Noble physical location would be replaced via an online bookstore called Akadémos.

In September 2022, Baruch sent an email highlighting many of the projects that the school had in progress. Among the listed included information about the campus bookstore.

“In partnership with our DASNY counterparts, Baruch is working with an architectural firm on schematic designs to transform the bookstore space into a new all-inclusive student one-stop shop,” the email said. “This project is in the very early planning stages. As the project progresses, updates will be provided.”

Other students were not surprised by the closure. Such as Sabrina Kippes, a freshman majoring in Journalism, who took notice of the lack of business that came from the bookstore café area.

“Honestly I wasn’t surprised about the bookstore closing,” Kippes said. “It was always empty, and the cafe never had any customers.”

Kippes also said that she wishes for the return of the café aspect of the bookstore but on a smaller scale because having a café inside the school would be helpful for students who don’t have time to grab food off-campus due to their busy school schedules.

Students also showed interest in adding more study spaces as the current options such as the cafeteria are not enough for the large student population.

Anna Lan, a senior majoring in psychology, said she believes that the online store is challenging for some students in gathering needed materials for classes.

“If possible, a smaller bookstore would be lovely to accommodate students who need a

convenient place to access, and purchase needed material,” Lan said. “Otherwise, expanding it into an additional study space with provided refreshments would be a lovely place and space for individuals to have access to. As the dining area does not accommodate much space for students to dine in.”

Jessie Li, a human resource management major, said she thought putting seating and space to eat would be beneficial. “It can also be another den with a microwave,” Li said. “The line gets so long that some people don’t have time to heat and eat their lunches.”