Drue Sokol

The Hillside Market is still growing. This is evidenced not only by its changing selection of food items, but also its expansions of non-food products. Over the semester, the market has added several new URos items — ping-pong balls were an interesting inclusion — and it has also recently started selling hats in preparation for winter.

These new products could open discussion of what other URos items the Hillside Market could include. Should it stock school supplies? Should it sell a variety of gifts and greeting cards, like the UR Bookstore? These questions of supply will work themselves out over time. However, because of Hillside’s status as a 24-hour quick-stop market for the UR community, there’s one new item that seems very reasonable for inclusion: newspapers.

Students are well aware that free copies of USA Today, The New York Times and the Democrat and Chronicle can be picked up at various points around campus on weekdays, and that there are also several dispensers that sell copies of the D&C. However, for news junkies looking for a variety of media, the Bookstore is the best option on campus. The Bookstore carries a selection of major newspapers comparable to many supermarkets and general merchandise stores. In addition to the three aforementioned papers, the Bookstore is also the exclusive on-campus vendor of the New York Post, the New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal and The Buffalo News. For people who are interested in reading something other than the three newspapers supplied every day — or are unable to get them, as they usually disappear early in the day — the Bookstore offers their only opportunity to do so.

If the Hillside Market offered this same variety of newspapers, this could be helpful in several ways. During weekdays, it would offer students the chance to grab their favorite newspaper after all the free copies have been taken, and also after the bookstore closes in the early evening. This would be even more beneficial on the weekend, when free newspapers are not delivered to campus, and the Bookstore closes very early on Saturday and for all of Sunday. It would also allow students to have access to the popular Sunday editions. And most importantly, it would improve the market’s status as an all-encompassing convenience store. For many students, the day’s newspaper — whichever they prefer — is just as essential to their daily routine as their favorite drink or grab-and-go snack.

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