College of the Redwoods


Cal Poly Humboldt

College Matters | HSU bookstore coming to Arcata Plaza

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Friday, June 25, 2021 - 3:45am

It’s fun meeting students and alumni proudly wearing clothing from Humboldt State University. You can spot them in the stores and at events with their hats, T-shirts, and of course the many varieties of hoodies! Many people have stories about meeting someone they spotted wearing HSU gear in a small town, distant state, or another country.

Humboldt State has a community of people who are proud of being associated with one another and with this institution. It’s a powerful and comforting set of connections, and we deliberately foster it in many ways.

So when you see a big new bookstore open up on the Arcata Plaza later this year, you know what we have in mind. Easier access, greater visibility, and better service for the Humboldt State faithful.

As things stand, buying an HSU sweatshirt takes more dedication than is reasonable, especially for visiting alumni, students’ families, or community members. They have to find a parking spot on campus, buy the parking permit, walk up the hill, navigate to the second floor of the Student Activities Center (circle around or take the elevator or …?), and then finally make their way into the bookstore. Hopefully, they’re still motivated by then to buy what they were looking for.

Too often, this whole approach has led to frustration all around.

We spent quite some time searching for the right place in downtown Arcata. An amazing opportunity came along with the building on the corner of G and 8th streets, which the HSU Foundation has purchased as both an investment and a service to the campus.

The new location has a presence on the Arcata Plaza. It has excellent visibility. It has enough parking. You can even hear Crabs games from there.

Remodelling work will begin soon, with the goal of a soft opening late in the year just in time for the holidays. We’ll have a grand opening early in the spring 2022 semester. There will be more Humboldt State merchandise than ever before. We also hope to carry branded items from College of the Redwoods, local high schools, and others to create a shared community.

For those of you who haven’t attended college recently, keep in mind that college bookstores are not so much about actual books anymore. That’s true of our bookstore as well, which sells apparel, gifts, and other merchandise — as well as textbooks. The HSU Bookstore will maintain its current warehouse space on campus for receiving and picking up textbooks, along with handling textbook rentals, and we’re looking into delivering textbooks to students in residence halls. The College Creek Marketplace on campus will continue to sell Bookstore items as well.

This move will benefit the university and the community. When it is downtown, the bookstore will be a place that helps students connect and feel welcome in the community, attracts visitors, provides space for special events, and more. The move also opens up the current bookstore space for student life and activities.

By way of foreshadowing, we’re also very interested in selling HSU and CR merchandise in Old Town Eureka. Watch for news about that in the coming months.

In-person and on Zoom, we hope to see you soon sporting your Humboldt State gear. If you need a good excuse, we consider Fridays to be “Green and Gold Days.” New stuff, classic stuff, faded sweatshirts well past their prime — it all showcases our connections.

Be well.

Dr. Tom Jackson Jr. is the President of Humboldt State University.