After nearly two years of planning and making adjustments, “Stags on the Run” a branch of the University’s on-campus bookstore, has come into fruition to kick off the 2015-2016 school year.

Many students may have noticed the expansions the bookstore has underwent, including the addition of a convenience store called Stags on the Run. The addition is located in the space previously occupied by the printers and vending machines outside the bookstore; these can now be found in the main hallway to the right of the Information Desk.

However, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Jim FitzPatrick ‘70 believes that the delay in progress on the project was actually beneficial to the end result, saying that it gave the University more time to plan.

“What started out as a negative, not being able to do it in the summer of 2014, actually turned out to help us,” said FitzPatrick.

Stags on the Run offers students many amenities that were not previously available, such as fresh fruit, sandwiches and salads to grab-and-go, frozen meals, health and beauty products and much more, all of which were selected by a poll of students conducted several months ago, said Bruce Sumner, regional manager of Follett, the textbook distributor for the bookstore.

According to Sumner, Stags on the Run was implemented so that “Fairfield students will no longer have to leave campus to get those basic items they need to live their lives on campus.”

Sumner added that the time students will save going to local grocery stores will contribute to the time they can spend studying and enjoying their college experience.

Overall, students and faculty are pleased with the final result of Stags on the Run.

FitzPatrick spoke of the final appearance of the bookstore, saying, “I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it was going to be this good.”

Freshman Rob Munoz appreciates the convenience of Stags on the Run, saying that the addition gives students the ability to grab food on the go if they’re in a rush, rather than going to Main Dining Room to eat.

“People will definitely come in here just to grab snacks to munch on during class or while studying,” Munoz continued.

Many students, such as Neil Casey ‘18,  also mentioned that the hard work on the construction of “Stags on the Run” over the summer paid off,  saying that it “looks pleasing to the eye.”

For Sarah Canty ‘18, however, the most convenient part of Stags on the Run is its location within the bookstore, which allows students to access the basic necessities sold in Stags on the Run without having to walk through the rest of the bookstore.

While Sumner is appreciative of the final product, he acknowledged that the project didn’t run completely smoothly. According to Sumner, Follett and Fairfield University altered the plans for the developments about 18 times before finding the one that fit.

“Because this is a new concept, me and our home office team have been challenged on occasion to get the product our students want as timely as I would hope,” Sumner said. “However, I believe we have addressed those issues with our vendors.”  

For FitzPatrick, the amount of time those involved with the project put in to solve these problems was worthwhile.

“You like to see the hard work and creativity pay off, and it really did,” said FitzPatrick.

Sumner envisions further enhancements for Stags on the Run, including a service that would deliver supplies to dorms and residence halls on campus in order to make the process more convenient for students.

In addition, Sumner said that the revisions to the bookstore will “be an evolving model based on demand and request.”

FitzPatrick added, “We’re not done yet, we’re still very much a work in progress,” saying that the University will continue to make adjustments to the supplies the store will offer throughout the next few months.

Sumner encourages the Fairfield community to provide him and his team with suggestions on any improvements for the bookstore. In addition, Sumner will use Fairfield students’ feedback to drive the concept of Stags on the Run to other colleges and universities in the area.

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