Students at Oregon State University-Cascades Campus wanted to give their school its own identity and show their pride, so they created a logo and started a store.
“We are different,” said Aimee Svendsen, a 19-year-old sophomore. “We are our own university, even though we're a branch of OSU. It's just brand awareness, getting people to know we aren't OSU, we are OSU-Cascades.”
The gear store is the only place to buy sweatshirts, T-shirts, coffee mugs and lanyards with the official “OSU|Cascades” logo. It's funded through student fees and run by Svendsen and two other students, with proceeds returning to the school and gear store.
Like any good business, it's meeting a demand, said Andrew Davis, coordinator of Student Life at OSU-Cascades.
“We had a lot of students who were requesting to be able to buy campus gear, like any traditional college student would, and we didn't have a process in place for them to do that here,” he said.
Davis said there wasn't room for a book or clothing store on campus. So, he suggested a mobile concession trailer. Today, the gear shop operates out of a 14-foot refurbished cargo trailer that's open Tuesdays and Thursdays. The students also take it to school and community events.
The gear shop made its first appearance during commencement in June, Svendsen said.
“My vision for the store is to keep the trailer so we can go to different events,” she said. “(But) ultimately I'd like to see it inside a building, when we have a four-year university, so we can carry more products and spread the word.”
OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson agrees.
“Not only has the gear store been a great opportunity for our students to get some business experience, it's also provided a way for us to get our brand out into the community a little more,” Johnson wrote in an email. “We would like to have an OSU-Cascades bookstore or fan shop in Bend in the future, but this gives us an interim solution.”
The Corvallis campus also supports the student-run store.
“I love showing my pride for my school through wearing school colors and logos, and I'm excited for OSU-Cascades Campus students to develop a logo all their own to wear proudly, too,” said Amelia Harris, president of Associated Students of Oregon State University. “The Cascades Campus gear store is a very impressive student-run initiative, and I look forward to seeing it grow.”
On the Web
For more information about the OSU-Cascades Gear Store, visit www.osucascades.edu/gear-store-trailer