Former bookstore space designated for student use


Malik Moore, Ari Bunney and Denyse Ruiz after a grueling round of miniature golf in the former bookstore

On May 17, 2022, the NVU-J Bookstore closed its doors for good. Since then, students have observed little activity in the room, aside from the removal of furniture. Michele Whitmore, Johnson’s Executive Director, provided the proposed ideas and plans for the space in the near future.

The racks, shelving, and other materials previously in the space have been donated to Jenna’s Promise. Says Whitmore:
“One of the best parts about all this is that we were able to donate to an amazing cause.”

The space is to be cleared and cleaned entirely, then furniture from the conference room is to be moved in as a start. The plan is for rolling furniture to be added in the future, so the space can easily be arranged to fit a variety of uses. Additional dividers may be added to give the room the ability to form smaller, private sections that can house multiple groups at once.

Whitmore talks of painting the walls and decorating the room with student art. The goal was to have the space cleaned and furnished by the time students return from February break, which would have been the 27th of this month. She expects the room to be fully complete by the beginning of the 2023 Fall semester.

“The vision,” Whitmore says, “is to create a multi-use space with students focused first.”

Together we considered utilizing the space for club meetings, community lounging, and study spaces. We talked of creating a small café or store for students to purchase general supplies, and even moving in pantry items from the Wellness Center. Whitmore stressed that she wants the student body to be heavily involved in the result, and a discussion has been had with the Student Government Association.

“Students are welcome to contact either Emily Carchia or myself with any and all suggestions for this as well as any questions or concerns in general, Sonja Kivela, the SGA Vice President, said. “We are your Student Government and will always do our best to assist on issues students have.”

The SGA Clubhouse is located on the first floor of Stearns, room 408, and students can pop in or leave notes on the whiteboard if it is unstaffed.