One student’s trash is another student’s treasure

Photo by Keith Race

After being closed for nearly a year, the CSU has plans to re-open the Swap Shop as a Pop-up shop this March at the Sir George Williams campus.

Photo by Keith Race

“When our team took office, the Swap Shop was in disarray. It was clear that no one had taken the time to curate the items inside, or advertise that the service existed,” explained VP Internal James Tyler Vaccaro.

The majority of the items in the Swap Shop were unusable, broken, damaged or dirty, consisting mainly of old electronics and soiled clothing.

“The space was unsanitary and had a high likelihood of creating or spreading infestations. For example bedbugs can thrive in old clothing, and silverfish can be found in old books; both items that were commonly found in the Swap Shop,” said Vaccaro.

Additionally there had been an issue with individuals who took up residence in the Swap Shop, sleeping there overnight.  After security dealt with this matter, a decision was made by the CSU executive to close down the shop indefinitely. Further keeping in mind the safety and health of students using or acquiring products from this space, the executive decided to not re-open the shop until a more sanitary alternative could be found.

“Our initial plan had been to turn the space into a conference room that would be bookable, free of charge, to all student groups. However, we are in the process of reconsidering all space managed by the CSU, so we did not want to spend money on improvements that would not be permanent,” said Vaccaro.

With students wants in mind and appreciation for the space’s original concept, the executive has come up with an alternative, which will involve the creation of a CSU club that organizes Pop-up Swap Shops around campus.

“This way, students would still have the opportunity to bring unwanted items and give them a second life. This would ensure the project’s continued success, because the club would have the responsibility to properly supervise the events and curate the items,” explained Katrina Caruso, VP Student Life.

To experiment with this concept, the CSU will be hosting the first Pop-up Swap Shop from March 10-12 in the CSU Lounge on the 7th floor of the Hall Building. Any student interested in participating in the event should get in touch with the VP Student Life, at [email protected].


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