By: Allison Hernandez, Guest Writer
As many students have noticed, there is a lot of construction going on in a section of the Dugan Library that used to be the home of the Newman bookstore – the spot where the Newman community used to find branded Newman gear like T-shirts, hoodies, license plate frames, socks, pens and more.
But the bookstore closed and all of its inventory was liquidated in 2020. Current-day students are left wondering where they can buy NU gear.
“Every college I visited had a gear shop,” freshman Hailey Korth said. “When I got here, I noticed that they didn’t have one, and I didn't know where I could get gear.”
Athletic Director JoAnna Pryor said that students can get Newman gear, but they’ll have to buy most of it online.
She manages an online Newman store, which launched in 2019 – one year before the physical bookstore was closed. Students can access the website through the Newman athletics site or at nujetsgear.com
“The purpose of making the online bookstore was to reach people that aren't in Wichita,” Pryor said. “So if someone out of state wanted to buy something, they wouldn't have to drive here. They can get on the online store and have it shipped.”
The website has a number of items from hoodies and crewnecks that cost $40-$45, T-shirts for around $20, business accessories, drinkware, decor for $20-$40, blankets for $46, headwear for $13-$25, jackets for around $28-$55 and many other items.
Students also have the option to purchase apparel on campus.
“We have a limited number of items that we do sell here through the athletic office so that if somebody would like to get something right now, they can.” Pryor said.
Whether Newman will ever get back its on-campus bookstore is still in question, Pryor said.
“We have thought about having a physical space but the problem is where would we have something like that and then who's going to staff it,” Pryor said. “Then you get into the expenses of why we don't have a bookstore. We don't have one because the expenses were too great.”
Pryor said that replacing the bookstore is not in Newman’s immediate plans, though.
“It is going to take some investment to get something like that built, but it is always something that we think about and how can we do it better,” Pryor said.
PHOTO: File photo, Vantage Archives