As I am sure many, if not all, of you have noticed, Java City, once located in the FGH Library, is no more. With that being recognized, I am sure you are also well aware that there is now a Starbucks located in the former Honors office. After opening late, Starbucks is now up and in business. Great for some, unwanted for others. Why do people love Starbucks? Is it because it tastes good or because it has a name attached to it? Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Starbucks, but don’t you think that having 15,011 stores in 42 different countries is more than enough? Do we really need a Starbucks on West Chester’s campus? I don’t think so!
Starbucks takes away West Chester’s homeliness and adds a commercialized atmosphere to it. Not only that, if we keep adding huge businesses to our campus, we will no longer be a University, but a strip-mall. Although Starbucks may taste good, do we really need two of them within a mile of each other? In case you have not seen or heard, a new Starbucks has opened on the corner of High and Gay Streets. So now that West Chester has two Starbucks located within walking distance, what is going to happen to those smaller businesses that have been here for a much longer time?
Take, for instance, Sprazzo, the coffee shop across the street from where the new Starbucks is located. If Starbucks takes away their business, there is a huge possibility that they might be forced to shut down. I do not want to see that happen, but if we as a whole just sit back and let this commercialism take over, West Chester will no longer be the place I once loved. I get that you can personalize your drinks and make them taste however you want at Starbucks, but I am sure that you could ask another coffee shop to do that as well. Because Starbucks is so well known, I feel that students and faculty will gravitate towards that name, whereas everyone needs to be walking in the opposite direction.
We need to stop promoting the spread of commercialism targeted at college students, or even the general public. Commercialism affects small local businesses, as we all know from what Wal-Mart has done to today’s society. I understand that it opens up opportunities for employment, but there are many small businesses within West Chester and in walking distance that could use this assistance as well. I love my campus just as much as the next student, and it is because of this love that I think we should also support the community that we are in. I know I will not be able to change the minds of those who are so enthused to see the Starbucks on campus, and it is too bad they cannot see the harm it is doing here. But to those who are on the fence or on my side, let’s take a stand for what we believe in and not give into this idea of what America is about – coffee and commercialism.
Rebekah Balmer is a first year student majoring in Secondary English Education with a Spanish minor. She can be reached at RB649636@wcupa.edu.