Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Student businesses to relocate to Bartlett Hall

Student Union renovations to begin this spring
(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

In preparation for the new Student Union renovations, People’s Market is set to relocate to Bartlett Hall, along with other student businesses.

In a referendum last year, the University of Massachusetts student body voted in favor of an increase in student fees in exchange for a $50 million Student Union renovation project. The project is jointly funded by the temporary increase in student fees as Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy committed to providing half the cost of the project.

The increase of the Student Activity Trust Fund fee began in the 2018-2019 academic year by $50. The SATF fee will continue to increase by another $50, by the fiscal year of 2020, the rate will increase to $231.

Existing businesses and clubs located in the building have either already relocated or will in the near future. Student business People’s Market will move from the first floor of the Student Union to the first floor of Bartlett Hall, room 170. The relocation will occur over the winter break in time for its re-opening in the spring of 2019. Their last day of operation will be Dec. 7.

Kali Torr, junior biology major and employee at People’s Market, is very excited about the possibilities of a new location.

“It’s very bittersweet because this place has been here for 45 years. But we will try our best to replicate the environment that’s been harnessed here, in Bartlett,” Torr said.

People’s Market was founded in 1973 by two 19-year-old students, Gail Sullivan and Ellen Gavin. According to the store’s website, the founders’ goal was to create a not-for-profit, community-owned store with healthy and affordable products for the UMass community as well as create an alternate eating place.

Fellow employee at People’s Market Anna Ben-Hur, a sophomore social thought and political economy major, finds the move a bit daunting, but believes that the student businesses will help each other out.

“We’re moving to Bartlett with other businesses and that’s kind of scary,” she said. “Running a student business is hard but we’re all gonna try to work together and sustain our businesses.”

The Bike Coop co-op already moved over the summer in time for a re-opening at the beginning of this academic school year from the Student Union to Bartlett 102A.

Michael Rossi, senior mechanical engineering major who has worked at the Bike Coop since his freshman year, said the transition was easy as the University moved all the material. But he doesn’t like the new location.

“We’re in the middle of nowhere and that sucks. We used to be in the middle of everything and that was awesome,” Rossi said.

As a senior, Rossi will have graduated from UMass when renovations on the Student Union are expected to finish in spring 2021.

EarthFoods Café, another student run business that serves economical and healthy vegetarian food located in the Hatch of the Student Union and also student run, will be moving this upcoming spring to room 156 in Bartlett Hall.

Amalija Jurcik, senior civil engineering student, is excited for the new space in the Student Union once renovations are done.

“We’re excited for the new space that we’ll have once the Student Union is done and we’re excited to be in closer proximity to other student businesses,” she said.


Bonnie Chen can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @BonnieChenn.

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    NameDec 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    The new price of the Student Union Renovations is $60 mil now! Went up over $10 million. Very sad!