Video rental store poised to open in Student Center

Nicole Stempak

Student-run project collaboration of USG, Entreprenurial Lab

Kent State students who don’t have cars will no longer have to watch the same DVDs or walk to Main Street to rent a movie.

A student-run video rental store, aimed at underclassmen who live on campus, is tentatively scheduled to open Oct. 1 in the Music Listening Center in the Student Center, said project coordinator Manal Sakr. While an exact cost for rental has not been determined, students can pay in either cash

or FlashCash.

The project is part of the Entrepreneurial Lab, which operates in the College of Business

Administration and is a place where students can practice running their own businesses.

“Basically, this is just KSU students working for KSU students,” Sakr said.

Sakr, career counseling assistant for the Career Services Center, has been working with Undergraduate Student Government to support the project.

Sakr said Executive Director Jonathan Bey presented their proposal to USG and received $30,000 to fund the project.

Bey said he thinks the rental store will benefit both student workers and customers.

“It’s a great way for students on the academic side and the entertainment (or) social side,” he said, adding that this is especially the case if Kent State gets hit with another winter blizzard.

The initial proposal for the video store was a solution for a Streetsboro-based DVD and video game store supplier with too much inventory, she said. The supplier passed on the idea, and the proposal was “put on the back burner” for about two years.

When the idea for an on-campus rental store was suggested, the proposal was revived.

“Instead of working with that company, we made it all student run and so the benefit is 100 percent for KSU students,” she said.

Neil Jacobsen, senior business management major, has been researching the student audience to gauge feedback since spring.

“Mostly, it’s going to be freshmen and sophomores living on campus, so we’re gearing it towards them,” Sakr said. “With Blu-ray coming in and all kinds of different changes in technology, we want to get that perspective of what are the needs of the

new freshmen.”

Still, Jacobsen said the store will primarily stock new releases because he thinks more students prefer them.

Sakr also said the launch team is focusing on the weekend when students have “more time to sit down and watch a movie.”

Jacobsen said he chose this project out of other projects offered in the Entrepreneurial Lab because it was the most open.

The majority of the projects are from pre-existing companies that have us solve their real-world problems, he said.

“But this is like a blank slate,” he said, making a horizontal line with his hand. “Make or break. Create your own business.”

Contact student politics reportere Nicole Stempak at [email protected].