I’ve written before about the plight of the modern worker, because people seem to forget how easily institutions can change. However, with the opening of Wal-Mart on May 6, the ASU’s Tempe campus changed for the worse.
Wal-Mart has continued a trend of hiring more and more temporary employees while cutting back on the schedules of hours worked by full-time employees — essentially demoting them to part-time, without access to health care and other benefits.
Wal-Mart has sang its own praises as a place where students have access to $4 monthly prescriptions. These prescriptions are designed as “loss leaders,” where Wal-Mart may be able to sell them at a loss so long as you’re in the store and remember that you need to buy something else.
This cements Wal-Mart in its quest to have the lowest prices around.
It seems deceptive that, as a college student, I can be tricked into buying things that I don’t really need simply because the store is “on campus.”
It’s offensive that they think I will just walk in there to find the cheapest thing and walk out happy.
First off, who says I need any of those products? Yes, they sell the necessities at a low cost but overall, why do I need, say, 85 percent of those products?
Yes, I will still spend money at Target and other chain stores, but they’re not trying so hard to get my money. The concept of going to Target for something I need doesn’t feel as sweaty and desperate.
There is one point where I will give Wal-Mart credit: competition.
It is extremely important that the ASU or contracted campus stores have some competition. While we may not need a Wal-Mart on campus, we do need something to keep the inflated prices at the P.O.D. Market in check.
By not going to Wal-Mart on campus, I can avoid giving my money willingly to a company that does not respect their customers or their employees.
Not only will they not get my money, but I will be able to live a simpler life without anything I don’t really need. They make their money by creating hoarders and instant consumerists on college campuses.
If you decide this year not to go to Wal-Mart on campus, just remember that you may be able to leave college healthier and more flexible to work with what you already have.
This kind of ingenuity should be held high at ASU, but the existence of Wal-Mart on campus blocks the true creativity of the student body.
Send Peter your thoughts on the new Wal-Mart on campus at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @peternorthfelt