By Brian Riley
Construction is underway on the second floor of Hillwood Commons, in the location of the former student computer lab, for a new technology store on campus. The store, tentatively named Browse, will open by early October, according to Tamir Dayya, the Special Projects Coordinator for the student-run businesses on campus. Browse will join The Student Body, The Post Treat Shoppe, and The End Zone that were opened in Hillwood Commons during the 2013-2014 academic school year.
The store will sell laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, and accessories, and will have an open floor design similar to an Apple store, with four stations with different merchandise, according to Jackie Nealon, LIU’s Chief of Staff. Nealon added that the store will offer current Post students, faculty, and staff discounts on varied products. In addition, Browse will offer a “‘Genius Bar’ level of technical support [typically] found in Apple stores,” said Nealon.
Although Browse is a store, Nealon views this business venture as a learning opportunity as well. She believes that this will help students learn about retail management, supply-chain management, inventory control, and much more.
“In the future, we plan to integrate teaching experiences at Browse into the College of Management to develop a unique academic curriculum,” said Nealon. Browse will not only teach students, but professors as well; it will feature a training room that aims to keep professors up to date on the latest technology.
“[Browse] will be a place on campus [students] can go to for technological needs,” Dayya said. Dayya also believes this store helps to reiterate the university’s initiative to get as many students involved as possible, due to the fact that Browse will employ 16 part-time students. Lucie Chrastecka, a junior Pre-Medicine Biology major, believes that student-run businesses are much more than a way to get involved on campus. As a foreign exchange student, she is not allowed to get a job off campus or on campus, unless it is a campus budget job. She currently works at The Student Body, Post’s student-run clothing boutique, and is in favor of student-run businesses. “The main reason I like the stores is because the profits go back into the school,” Chrastecka added. Half of the profits from student-run businesses go back into the business itself, while the other half is used for scholarships for students, according to Nealon.
There are three businesses scheduled to open on campus this semester, including Browse. A branch of Bethpage Federal Credit Union will open on the second floor of Hillwood Commons, and will be geared towards the finances of college students. The bank will offer discounted loan rates and lower minimum account balances, according to Kevin McKenna, the Manager of Business Development for Bethpage Federal Credit Union. The other store planned to open is a student art gallery, where students can sell their artwork. The gallery is set to open where the current Student Art Gallery League is on the first floor of Hillwood Commons, across from Starbucks.
These three new businesses bump up the number of student-run stores in Hillwood Commons to six. “Since Hillwood is the social hub of LIU Post, it makes sense to house our new student-run ventures within this prime location [in order] to maximize exposure as well as to provide convenience,” Nealon said.