Today we say goodbye to the Free Store as it once was. Fortunately, it is not truly goodbye as the Free Store actually has not gone anywhere, but will now be known as the Share Shop.
In addition to the new name, and a few changes to the interior, members of Knox Advocates for Recycling and Environmental Support (KARES) have taken steps to promote using the Share Shop. There were no technical problems with the way that the Free Store was functioning, but members of KARES believe that it was not being used to its full potential.
When asked about the reason for changing the name, KARES member Tommy Hintz said, “We want it to be more collaborative and the new name includes an idea that encourages both give and take. We want the Share Shop to be more of a co-op.”
The name change is just the first step toward getting students to use the Share Shop more proactively. Members of KARES have reorganized some parts of the interior and hope that by keeping the space more organized and keeping consistent hours, students will use the Share Shop more often.
Hintz also explained that KARES would be advertising these changes sometime in the near future.
The motive behind this endeavor is for students to be able to rely on the Share Shop for books, warm clothes, electronics and appliances, among other things. Some students feel that, while the idea of the Free Store was good, it never reached its true potential because of inconsistent hours and inconsistent levels of involvement from students.
“I think it’s a good idea, but it needs to be open more,” said freshman Aubyn Dua. “Maybe they should let students work there.”
Generally speaking, the end of Spring Term has always been the best time to find things at the Free Store because students are graduating or moving and need to get rid of the things that they cannot take with them.
Despite it not being used as much during fall and winter terms, many students never took advantage of the Free Store.
“I know it’s there, I just never know when it’s actually going to be open,” said senior Amal Dua. “I think if they advertised what they have a little more then more people would use it.”
The greatest obstacle that the Share Shop faces is getting more students to stop by and check things out more often. The Share Shop has been open under its new name for a little more than a week.
After hearing about the new name and KARES plans for the future of the Share Shop, senior Samantha Kopelman said, “I think the idea behind these changes is good and hopefully it will make it more interactive. I can see myself using it more with these improvements.”