End of campus bookstore and café sparks variety of reactions


Special to The Ticker

Rosa Gomez Escoto

In a recent post on Baruch College’s student-run subreddit, a user shared a letter about the potential closing of the campus bookstore, written by someone claiming to be a Baruch faculty member.

Students expressed a variety of opinions on the possible change in a survey conducted by The Ticker.

Although a majority of respondents said they viewed the change as beneficial, several students shared that they had made purchases from the bookstore but had never visited Baruch’s One Stop Shop.

When asked if the availability of the Barnes & Noble Café made a difference to Baruch’s student life, students’ responses varied.

“I feel this change has been long overdue,” Kenia Guzman, a sophomore at Baruch said. “I barely see people in the Barnes & Noble Cafe, however, I know some people who hang out in the cafe because it’s quiet and spacious.”

The anonymous faculty that shared the letter claimed they heard from a “reliable source” that “The Barnes & Noble Café and the Bookstore will be shutting down effective immediately at the end of the fall 2022 semester. The Café will be completely eliminated and the bookstore will ultimately go online.”

The employee expressed concerns that the bookstore and café closure will displace workers and remove an essential element of college life from the university.

The letter also discussed the unclear circumstances under which the lease was not renewed.

On Sept. 21, Baruch sent an email with the subject line “Building Community: Campus Facilities Update” where it discussed changes to campus. Included in the email was a section addressing future changes to the bookstore:

In partnership with our DASNY counterparts, Baruch is working with an architectural firm on schematic designs to transform the bookstore 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.”

Rebecca Imamkhodjaeva, a freshman, told The Ticker she valued having access to a physical bookstore.

“I believe that the bookstore is an essential business for Baruch students in case they need any supplies or want to go in and get a book,” Imamkhodjaeva said. “The closest Barnes and Noble is 10 blocks which is not accessible for all.”

The lack of seating areas on campus was an issue pointed out by several students. Due to the influx of students returning to in-person classes this semester, and the limited capacity of existing areas on campus, there is an increase in demand for spaces for students to spend their free time, especially when a lot of them have large gaps between classes.

“Since transferring to Baruch in the Spring of 2022 … I have entered the space to try to find a place to sit but the seating area has always been closed, even just the other week in September, 2022,” Celena Urabe, a junior, said.

Urabe suggested steps that could be taken to make the café space more welcoming.

“The seating could be open more frequently and consistently and the food and drinks could be better,” she said. “The area itself, and the Baruch merchandise section, could use a renovation.”

Sameeha Zaid, a sophomore, said she felt the lack of spaces to sit prevented communal interaction on campus.

 “We need more places for students to hangout,” Zaid said. “It’s called a college campus for a reason. It’s kinda frustrating to not have many options to sit or explore with your friends.”