Rice convenince store has potential to be great asset to students
Barnes & Noble will soon over take more real estate in the RMC (see story, pg. 1). The contract of 13th Street, Sammy's and Smoothie King has expired, thus allowing a "Recharge U" convenience store, operated by Barnes and Noble, to open.
We have every reason to be skeptical of this Barnes & University Bookstore has been successfully overcharging students for years now. However, with every new venture comes the potential for a successful endeavor if handled correctly.
First, this convenience store must offer affordable prices. Students do not have the resources to spend liberally, and this store will be an abysmal failure without competitive pricing. Secondly, the store needs to provide dining options that are comparable to the ones 13th Street currently offers; the store also needs to provide food later in the evening to mirror 13th Street's 11 p.m. weekday availability. Finally, this store is not a student-run business, so it should not attempt to replace or out-compete other student businesses. For example, Coffee House is located down the hall from the future convenience store, so for it to attempt to provide coffee in opposition to Coffee House would be unacceptable. If it avoids pitfalls like these, this store could serve as a very convenient entity enhancing an already high quality of life for students.
It is also worth noting that Sammy's contract has similarly run its course and the space it once held is now prepared for another food vendor to fill the real estate. Could this finally be the on-campus What-a-burger we've been craving for? We can only hope.
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In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.