It looks as though Wallace Lounge is finally going to get cleaned up. A pizza lounge might be cool, we guess, except that it takes away from local businesses and could cause the Gizmo’s hours to shorten. Although Helmut Mayer’s interest in making the pizza healthy is a bonus, the fact remains that pizza is available at every other cafeteria-related establishment on campus. Pizza availability is not a hole we need filled at the moment: Alfano’s has as tight a hold on Knox junk food junkies as breakfast bagels.
What we do need is a free store. At a time when Knox is rushing to catch up with the colleges whose administrators jumped on the whole sustainability thing before ours did, it’s odd that a waste-preventing, consumerism-defeating, money-saving, upcycling-promoting thing like the Free Store would get such short shrift from the school.
True, it’s not much to look at right now, but that’s because it was squeezed from a much-too-small room into a flood-damaged one. Students built the Free Store from the ground up: the least the school can do is to give it a good home.
Maybe the Free Store doesn’t absolutely have to be “inviting,” but it would be nice if it could be. It would be good to be able to include the rest of the Galesburg community in its success: Miss Piggee’s would have been a prime spot for that. The Free Store will surely survive in Conger-Neal basement, but it could do so much more than survive.
The fact is, the success of the Free Store is hurting it. Motivated students created something that was good for the campus and the environment without costing anyone a dime, it got popular, and it grew too big to tuck away.
We’re glad people want to put something student-run in Wallace Lounge, but the Free Store was student-invented. Whatever ends up in that space, we’re sure the school will attempt to produce it with sustainability in mind, but part of sustainability is not wasting the good things you already have.