OPINION: The Market should be open 24/7

OPINION%3A+The+Market+should+be+open+24%2F7

Thomas Turner, Opinion Writer

The Market is one of the most convenient services offered here at App State. For many students, its goods provide a nice alternative to the food provided by the dining hall. For others, it provides convenient access to medicine that otherwise would require a long trip to acquire. With sickness having been rampant around campus so far this semester, food and medicine are necessary in order to reduce the suffering that sick individuals face on a daily basis; which is why it’s so odd that the operation of The Market locations at Trivette and the Bookstore are extremely inconvenient for those students.

Right now The Market at Trivette is open from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays and 1-9 p.m. on weekends. Immediately the first problem arises: why do the hours of operation shift so drastically during the weekends? Many students rely on The Market for food, medicine and other necessities. Wouldn’t it make sense for The Market to have longer operating hours on weekends, when students would have more free time to stop by and get what they need?

However, these questionable operating hours are only the tip of the iceberg. Similar to how the meal plans shifted from the previous academic year to this one, to the dismay of many students, the same happened to the operating hours of The Market. In previous academic years, The Market at Trivette was open from 8 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 5 p.m. to midnight on weekends, a much larger and more convenient window of time compared to the hours of operation now. This begs the question: why the change? According to Campus Dining, they “evaluate the hours of each location and use point-of-purchase data, as well as other factors, including the general operating hours of the surrounding buildings, to determine hours of operation. Market traffic in each location is driven by different purchasing behaviors.” 

A few weeks ago, my roommate was extremely sick, as many people on campus were at the time. As he was coughing up a storm, I offered to grab him some cough drops from The Market at Trivette, making my way down there at noon on a Saturday. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I entered Trivette only to find The Market doors locked and a schedule that told me it wouldn’t open until an hour later. I immediately thought about other places that I could get medicine from to help him, but all of the places I could think of would only be accessible via AppalCart, which would turn what should’ve been a five minute trip into one that would last over an hour. At that point, the only reasonable course of action would be to use a service like UberEats or DoorDash to have someone deliver the medicine to my residence hall, but by that point it would be too little too late. I made my way back to my dorm room, facing my sickly roommate, empty handed and defeated. This situation, as unfortunate as it is to say, has been the reality for myself and many other students across campus this year.

Now some may say that the solution to my dilemma would have been to ask an RA or some neighbors if they happen to have any medicine that would help, but that’s a Hail Mary backup plan, not a reliable solution. The only reliable solution to this problem that too many students are facing on campus right now is to open up The Market for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Doing so would not only provide better accessibility to necessary resources for students on campus, but would also provide more employment opportunities and revenue for The Market over time. The bottom line is this: students on campus are suffering, and it is up to Campus Dining and The Market to do their part to help.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Campus Dining had not made a comment regarding their change in hours of operation. The information has been updated with campus dining’s statement.