Kelsee Brady, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
On Saturday, the Green Team hosted a grand opening of their Berry Swap Shop, located in Dana 244. The idea for the Swap Shop was initially based off of the idea of the Little Free Library initiative, in which wooden boxes are set up in neighborhoods across the country and random people are encouraged to drop off books they have read in exchange for new ones. The Swap Shop is an extension of this. Members of the Berry community can drop off old clothes, decorations, books, shoes, or other miscellaneous items. They can also browse the shop, and are welcome to take anything they would like, regardless of whether or not they have dropped off something.
As members of the Green Team express, the grand opening had high levels of turnout. Furthermore, students brought in a wide assortment of items to give up for future swapping. Jacob Pritchett, sophomore Green Team eco-representative, expressed his excitement for the opening, and the future of the Swap Shop.
“I was surprised by the turnout; it was better than I expected,” Pritchett said. “I was really excited to see a lot of the things that came in. I was really pleased with it.”
The central purpose of the Berry Green Team is to implement residential sustainability programs on campus. According to Stephen Wyatt, residence life area coordinator and supervisor of Green Team, initiatives like this are the group’s main prerogative.
“There’s a number of student organizations that work on the enviornment out there, but we wanted to start one that really focuses on residence hall and residence life issues and projects whereas the other student organizations are campus-wide community,” Wyatt explained. “It’s really just a different niche of ‘green’ stuff.”
According to sophomore Amy Borton, a Green Team eco-representative, the idea was intended to cut down on residential waste. Rather than throwing out old items they no longer want, students have the opportunity to bring them to a place where they can be repurposed for further use.
“It goes back to some of what we’ve seen on campus,” Borton said. “If you’re here at the end of the year and you see the huge piles of stuff people throw away or just people trying to give away stuff in the halls, a lot of stuff tends to go to waste, and the Swap Shop will give people a place where they can put old items to good use again.”
The Swap Shop was started in hopes of being a positive and effective program for the college constituency of Berry. It is supposed to be similar to other thrift shops, like Goodwill, but free and within walking distance of most dorms.
“I’m actually not entirely sure where the Swap Shop came from, like whose particular idea it was, but I was definitely excited to be a part of it,” Pritchett said. “I love Goodwill, and anyone who goes to college loves Goodwill. So free Goodwill on campus with college student items is really nice.”
A wide variety of different items are being accepted, and a full list of the items allowed can be found on fliers and emails, as well as taped outside of the door of the shop. Wyatt spoke about what items will and will not be accepted.
“For the most part, it will be similar to a Goodwill. We will allow gently used items, stuff that’s not broken,” Wyatt explained. “For clothing or towels, they need to be clean. We are not going to take any used or dirty things. Books, CDs, movies, if people want to drop those off, they can. Certainly, with any of this stuff, we’re not going to take anything offensive or promoting drug use, and no perishable items.”
The Swap Shop will continue to be open for student use from 9-5 Tuesdays, and from 9-11 and 12-5 on Thursdays until Reading Day, April 24. If students have items to drop off outside of those hours, a drop off box will be left next of the door at all times. Those items will eventually be incorporated into the shop’s inventory at a future time. After April 24, remaining items will be distributed to various nonprofit organizations in Rome.