Illustration by Maria Paula Calderon
The end of every academic year comes with the rush of finishing final exams, packing dorm rooms into suitcases and storage boxes and saying goodbye to another graduating class. In these final days of the semester, piles of books, unused household items and clothes are often discarded in residential lounges.
Over the last few semesters, the Second Chance Store, organized by the Office of Social Responsibility and Community Life, has provided a space for students and community members to donate their gently used items. This semester, the office decided to tweak the store a little and organize a Community Flea Market instead, where community members can buy, sell or give their goods all at once.
The market will take place on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the East and West Forum. Students interested in holding a table or a rack at the market need to register by April 19 and provide a refundable deposit of 100 AED. Once registered, the student will be assigned a table at the market where they can sell whatever they want at their own price.
Additionally, there will also be a free section where community members can either drop off or pick up gently used clothes and other miscellaneous items. Similar to the structure of the Second Chance Store, this section will be open to all.
While students can choose to sell their textbooks at the market, they can also donate them.
Used books will be collected at the lobbies of each residential building by volunteers from ADvocacy from May 4 until commencement. Last year, the office collected 4500 used books, weighing a total of three metric tons. To put those numbers in perspective, that would be the weight of six adult camels. Of these books, over 1000 were resold to Magrudy’s and the rest were added to the Community Book Room located in C2.
Read it Forward is another initiative started by the office in collaboration with students from ADvocacy, which helps address the problem of throwing away used books to cultivate a sustainable community at NYUAD. Community members, including contract staff and domestic workers, are invited to take books for themselves or their friends and family and pass them forward, creating a ripple effect in the community.
“It is our hope that through this program, we can promote sustainable and eco-friendly book and textbook buying practices on campus. The proceeds from the buyback program will be used towards purchasing course materials for the English in the Workplace program,” wrote Liria Gjidija, Assistant Director of Social Responsibility and Community Engagement.
The market provides a chance for the NYUAD community to exchange used items without throwing or giving them away and is a real life version of NYUAD Free & Sale and Saadiyat Swap. It will also be an opportunity for the community to get together before the three month long summer break.
Another option for students wanting to get rid of extra baggage is the Operation Smile donation box located between C2 and the Arts Center. Off campus, students can also drop their used clothes at H&M outlets, where a recycle box accepts all kinds of used clothing.
Karma Gurung is Editor-at-Large. Email her at [email protected]