The Harding University Bookstore (HUB) is now stocked with mugs, stationery, pens, stickers and other merchandise bearing club letters representing women’s club on campus. Merchandise can be purchased in the gift section of the store.
“I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner,” junior Alaina Galbier, a member of Sigma Phi Mu said. “Clubs are a huge part of campus life, and so why not sell merch in the HUB?”
Nicki Glover, the HUB floor manager, said the idea to sell club merchandise has been developing for a while.
“A few months ago, we began discussing how we could shape our merchandise to better reflect the student body because, ultimately, this is their bookstore,” Glover said.
HUB student worker senior Janae Callicoat helped with the selection of the merchandise and deciding what would go on the shelves.
“(Glover’s) main goal is to revamp the bookstore and make it more relevant to students,” Callicoat said. “Her intentions weren’t to make profit, but to see how club merchandise would be received.”
So far, the merchandise appears to be a hit with students.
“It’s fun to watch people that don’t know about it come in and see it for the first time,” Callicoat said.
Senior Melanie Gary thinks that having club products in the HUB is a good addition.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Gary, a member of Pi Theta Phi said. “It’s an easy way to get new club stuff, and it also puts less pressure on club officers.”
Merchandise is available for all women’s clubs. Glover is looking into club merchandise for men’s clubs such as Croakie sunglass straps. The bookstore merchandise is intended to compliment and not compete with items clubs would normally order themselves.
“Many clubs are already doing so much in terms of branded items for their members,” Glover said. “Things like T-shirts and apparel, bumper stickers or car decals. We consulted some of these clubs and found that there were some specialty items they had interest in that were not as cost effective to purchase in small quantities. Because of the resources of the bookstore, we were able to scale these items and make them available at a reasonable price for our students.”
The selection of merchandise items is expected to grow and change with feedback and demand from current students and alumni alike.
“Members of these clubs purchase items for themselves but we have also seen them used as gifts for sponsors, queens and beaux,” Glover said. “We have even had a strong response from alumni who are excited to see their clubs represented in our store.”
According to Glover, the bookstore is undergoing reevaluation at many levels. Prices, selection and convenience are reexamined in relation to the needs of the student body.
“Like any other product we carry in our store, we will be constantly updating, reevaluating and improving our social club gift section,” Glover said. “We are looking into what new and exciting products we can add as well as continuing to improve the quality of our existing products.”