The video store industry is in decline, operators of large chain establishments say, so students on campus shouldn't expect to make it a Blockbuster night any time soon. But the lack of a well-stocked video store open late at night on or near campus remains a serious hole in the fabric of social options open to Penn students. And it is a need that administrators can begin to think about filling in more creative ways. We hope Penn officials continue their efforts to bring to Walnut Street a full-service video store with student-friendly late-night hours. But in the meantime, we are encouraged by the efforts of Harrison College House to fill this gap in the retail landscape, and we hope the University supports the student-staffed operation. Much like the Penn Student Agencies commissaries found in several college houses, a student-run video library offers several advantages: a convenient location, later hours, job opportunities for students, responsiveness to customer preferences and, with relatively little overhead, the chance to keep prices low. The University should lend its resources to this operation, enabling it to offer a wide selection of videotapes to the entire campus community rather than just a limited supply to Harrison residents. Doing so could obviate the need for a big-time chain to come to campus in a market so unfriendly to the industry giants, or more likely, offer a high-quality alternative until a deal is struck. Unsatisfied by Video Library's tape selection and early closing time, students have asked the administration to bring a video store to campus. The University's decision to support the staff and students of Harrison College House would not only demonstrate a willingness to support the college house system and the quality of life therein, but a responsiveness to the interests of the student body as wellComments powered by Disqus
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