Vendors on campus allow fresh shopping options for students

UMass Boston’s Campus Center terrace where the pop-up shops were running throughout the past week.

For busy college students, going shopping can be a hassle in already chaotic schedules. Between work, classes and keeping in touch with friends and family, shopping can often be the last thing on a college student’s mind. Online shopping is easy and convenient, however, that can be a gamble about the quality of the products ordered. However, UMass Boston has made shopping a bit easier for students, all from the convenience of the central hub of Campus Center. 

Over the past couple of weeks, vendors have once again been appearing—for lack of a better term—to students on the first floor of Campus Center. Soon after walking up the first set of stairs from the building’s main entrance with the buses, UMass Boston students were met with racks of clothes or tables of jewelry, all for purchase. 

Though tabling isn’t anything out of the ordinary in Campus Center—many clubs and activities will set up tables on the First Floor Terrace in order to excite students and invite them to join, or even sell products related to their clubs on occasion—tables selling goods for purchase outside of the UMass Boston sphere is new to many students. However, this vendor system is nothing new, either. The vendors have been coming to campus for well over twenty years, before Campus Center was constructed. 

Two of the vendors offered to the UMass Boston community in this school year so far have been a thrift store with hand curated vintage clothing and accessories, and a jewelry shop selling charms and small pieces of jewelry like rings and earrings. Both of these vendors cater to the interests of college students—thrift shopping has skyrocketed in popularity amongst Gen-Z, with the alternative mode of obtaining clothes going from being frowned upon and seen as something purely for lower class shoppers to a trendy, environmentally conscious way to refresh wardrobes. Likewise, an abundance of rings and layering of necklaces has become popular among the youth, rather than being seen as tacky in years before. 

Most of the vendors, much like these, cater to the wants and needs of students. UMass Boston invites vendors that will attract students and help them find a few great pieces for themselves or a loved one, or a fun afternoon to let loose among the stress of school. Vendors range from jewelry, accessories, cell phone charms and accessories, clothing and even paintball tickets, all for students to purchase in between classes or on the way home. 

There’s a reason for these vendors specifically, too. Though UMass Boston has a large commuter population, the campus is located on Columbia Point, isolating those who live in the residence halls or in the nearby apartments from shopping centers. 

“We’ve had a lot more positive feedback here than other schools I’ve worked at, like Northeastern, because of our location,” said Geoff Combs, the Executive Director of the Campus Center and Event Services. “UMass Boston is more isolated than most Boston schools, so you can't walk outside the student center, walk down the street, and go into a boutique or store.”

The positive feedback is mutual amongst vendors and students. Several vendors have said they love coming to UMass Boston, and they’re excited to be on campus and return year after year. 

“I love this school, it’s a great school,” said Lisa Mindick, owner of Shining Tiara Jewelry, one of the vendors. “My daughter went to school here, and I went to UMass Amherst, so I know the system and you can’t pick a better and more beautiful place to work.” 

Some of the vendors are even UMass Boston students—past and present. Mike Davis, the Scheduling and Events Coordinator, stated that one of the newer vendors, Hoarding Tees, is a current UMass Boston student. Hoarding Tees specializes in thrifted clothing and accessories. Davis also mentioned UVida Shop, an environmentally conscious and zero-waste store that is owned by a UMass Boston alum—and now has a brick-and-mortar store on Atlantic Avenue in Boston!

Vendors are scheduled up until the end of the semester. For information about specific vendors’ dates, as well as the full calendar of vendors, go to https://www.umb.edu/calendar and search Vendors in the "Search All Reservations" bar. With any luck, a vendor may have that perfect something, and make your day a whole lot brighter.

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