Grinnell, Saturday, August 27 - Returning Grinnell College students were surprised to find that their once-beloved bookstore has seemingly disappeared. The recent move of the Pioneer Bookshop has prompted a great number of mixed reactions among students.
A multitude of students were apparently confused by the vague directions given by the bookstore staff, stating that the new bookstore is “only a block away from McNally’s.”
Susanne Schuster ‘18 explained her frustration with the lack of clarity in the bookstore’s new location: “I followed the instructions and walked a block away from McNally’s to go to the new bookstore. I ended up at Smith Funeral Home! Is this some sort of sick joke?”
Other students were hrown off by the new need to go into town and do actual exercise in order to buy textbooks. Recent data shows a spike in downloads of the Uber app in the Grinnell College area, despite the fact that Uber does not operate in Grinnell. It has been confirmed that 96% of the Uber downloads in Grinnell were, in fact, downloaded with the intention of traveling to the bookstore’s new location.
The react ion to the bookstore’s move soon escalated into protest. Yesterday afternoon, a large group of students, who refer to themselves as the “Books tore Advocates ,” or “BSA,” marched from Burling Library all the way to President Raynard Kington’s house on the other side of the town. “Bring Back the Bookstore” was a popular chant among the protesters. In addition, many protesters held signs with sayings such as “Bookstore or Bust,” “J.B. Grinnell Would Be Ashamed,” and “This Would Have Never Happened in Chicago.” The protesters consisted of not only students, but also members of the Grinnell Boy Scouts of America Troop #0313, who believed the protest to be a Boy Scouts-sponsored event due to the similar acronym of the protest group’s name. In an ironic twist, although the BSA was protesting the inconvenience of the bookstore’s new location, they ended up marching a further distance than the new bookstore is from campus.
“I haven’t seen the Grinnell College students this passionate about a protest since the late 60’s Anti-Vietnam war protest!” explained Barbara Polyester, who has been a Grinnell resident since 1952. “That Vietnam protest got so wild, the administration ended the school-year early! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see just how much these students are willing to put on the line for the bookstore about which they clearly feel very strongly.”
The leader of the BSA, fourth year Bobby McGuire, had this to say: “All that we want is justice and democracy. Not one member of the administration asked the student body if we wanted a new bookstore. There was no vote, there was no warning, they just took it away from us. First they take the ice cream machines from the dining hall, and now this. Where does it end!?”
Despite all of the recent outrage, some students do not appear to be fazed by the bookstore leaving campus. “I didn’t even know Grinnell had a bookstore,” first year, John Wiffleberg, stated.