The University of Rochester has always been recognized for its academic excellence and rigor.  While it is known that its students work endlessly to maintain a satisfactory GPA, the University and the City of Rochester went to great lengths to help with the overall stress that the students feel.  In fall 2014, “College Town” was opened, providing multiple restaurants, shops, housing and more ways for students to blow through their money.  The new school bookstore was also built there, changing the location from its previous, extremely convenient on-campus spot to one that’s just inconvenient  for everybody.

The school bookstore has always been an extremely great resource, providing students with all the necessities for their courses.  After having had the original location right at their fingertips, students are finding it awfully difficult to stay on top of their academics while their resources are now out of reach.

College Town is located on Mt. Hope and Elmwood Avenues, with the Barnes & Noble bookstore  logo shown proudly on the corner.  It is about a 20-minute walk from campus, but if it’s snowing, you’re not going anywhere.

“At Rochester, we encourage students to ‘go the extra mile’ in an academic sense,” said one professor who preferred to remain anonymous.

“By moving the bookstore off-campus, we literally mean for students to go the extra mile.”

While the majority of students do not own cars, they have the choice to either take the bus or walk to the bookstore.  But honestly, do students actually take the bus off-campus?  That being said, almost all students are forced to walk.

One student walked to pick up her textbooks and paid the price.  “I walked two miles in negative-degree weather and returned with my textbooks and pneumonia,” she said.

University Health Services has seen an immense increase of students who have come in with colds, pneumonia and flu-like systems.  They’ve even dealt with one case of frostbite.

“Being a mother and a nurse,” said one nurse, “you never want to see a kid come in as sick as those who have been here lately.  One student came in and had icicles hanging from the one place where icicles aren’t supposed to hang from.  When I asked how this happened, he simply replied, ‘the bookstore violated me,’ and didn’t speak again.”

To cope with the struggle of students trying to safely get to and from the bookstore, talk of expanding the school tunnel system has come into play.  Building a mile-long tunnel from Rush Rhees Library has been up for discussion.  “I’m opposed to the whole tunnel idea,” said another professor.  “When I was in college, we didn’t have computers or iPhones.  We worked for everything.  Making it easy on the students here just doesn’t seem right.”

In all seriousness, the new bookstore is awesome—two-stories full of school apparel and surrounded with new places to “get away.” This new addition is a great fit for the university.  At the end of the day, however, it remains a testament to the school’s devotion to make its students go gray at an even earlier age than originally expected.

Borst-Smith is a member of
the class of 2017.

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