The GW Bookstore will now offer students the ability to order Greek-letter apparel and accessories, Student Association President Julie Bindelglass announced at a Greek Week event on Wednesday.
The bookstore will have product samples including a fabric swatch book, paddles, shirts, drink wear, bags and jackets in the store by the end of the month, and will provide computer kiosks for students to make their orders on efollettgreek.com. Greek-letter students previously had two options: travel an hour by Metro to The University Store in College Park, Maryland, or order online and hope the product looks the same as it does online.
"How many people do you see on campus wearing letters, and tote bags with their sorority's letters on them? It seemed like the right decision. It's something that students want, and we want to deliver on that," Bindelglass said.
The purchases will be monitored on a quarterly basis, and GW Bookstore manager Bob Blake said the bookstore may carry items in the store if sales are high.
"It's a destination point for students. They get to touch the product. They may be hesitant to purchase online when they are purchasing in mass numbers," Blake said. "They now get to touch and say this is what we are looking for, and it gives them reassurance."
Blake said the bookstore will evaluate if the store should carry some items for sale in the store in the spring.
GW now has 38 Greek-letter life organizations, and about 22 percent of the undergraduate student population is involved in Greek-letter life. Ethan Elser, chair of the Marvin Center Governing Board, said students have requested an outlet carrying Greek-letter gear on campus for years.
"A large percentage of campus is Greek, and there are no other offerings except for the University of Maryland store or ordering online," Elser said. "This is something we kept hearing over and over again that students wanted."
To launch the new initiative, the bookstore is sponsoring a contest in which it will donate $500 to the philanthropy of the chapter that has the highest sales. Details about the time period of this contest will be announced soon, Blake said.
"Ultimately it's to provide secondary option and location to order. We are starting to market the Web site... We will have samples of merchandise through our partner, and everything will grow from there," Blake said.
Blake said students will be able to request the bookstore order sample items so they may evaluate whether they want to place an order.
The store's partner, efollettgreek.com, will ship items within a few days to a student's residence hall or off-campus residence, Blake said.
The SA and MCGB are working to allow GWorld to be used for customized sales online at efolletgreek.com.
Clarification: (Oct. 19, 2009) The Hatchet reported that Student Association President Julie Bindelglass announced at a Greek Week event that the GW Bookstore will begin to offer students the ability to order Greek-letter apparel and accessories. Bindelglass made the announcement in conjunction with Ethan Elser, chair of the Marvin Center Governing Board.