Don’t have it in your budget to get that three-ring binder you desperately need? Have no fear, Swap Shop will make sure you have all your school supplies.
The Swap Shop, located next to the Beach Pantry in the University Student Union room 302, is the brainchild of Associated Students Inc. Vice President Logan Vournas.
“The Swap Shop is a place where students can drop off, pick up and exchange school supplies like binders, notebooks, writing utensils and other items essential to school,” she said in an email.
Rudy Ojeda, a communications and political science major who works at the shop, said that supplies are usually leftovers from previous semesters.
“The way it works is that at the end of the semester when [students] have leftover notebooks or anything that’s still feasible for students to use, [students] are able to come in here and drop it off,” the junior said.
Aside from students dropping off donations, ASI is partnering with different campus groups to hold monthly supply drives, according to Vournas. Currently, ASI is holding a supply drive with the 49er Shops and has plans for a second drive with the athletics department.
Supply drive bins are located throughout various parts of campus, such as the University Dining Plaza..
Vournas also said that ASI is currently doing outreach with the Long Beach community and different area grocery stores to see if they would like to contribute to either Swap Shop or Beach Pantry. She was a driving force behind both projects.
In order to take items from the Swap Shop, students need to fill out an informational form with their student ID number, their type of need and whether or not they would like to be contacted by a staff member to receive additional community assistance.
Ojeda said that ASI hopes to include toiletries, feminine products and diapers in the Swap Shop’s inventory.
For now, there is no set structure for how Swap Shop supplies and Beach Pantry items are being distributed. However, Ojeda said that ASI is working towards creating a points system much like the system at Sacramento State University.
According to the Sacramento State ASI food pantry website, students are allowed to one visit per week and up to 16 points per visit. Food items are separated into three categories and are either worth one, two or three points.
One-point items are side dishes or non-food items such as canned fruit and toiletries; two-point items are a meal such as canned soup and top ramen; three-point items are lasting meal supplies such as cereal and dry beans.
Students are allowed to take up to four one-point items; three two-point items; and two three-point items.
Although the Swap Shop is open to all CSULB students, it is aimed to serve those who face financial hardship or could better use their money elsewhere.
Vournas said that she believes students will “embrace the swap” by donating their old or unused supplies in exchange for what they need.
“We also believe students will value it as a resource and will understand that it’s a service to help students who need it,” said Vournas.
The Swap Shop is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m and 5 – 7 p.m.