Arts Tuck Shop reopens after four years Shop open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays


The Arts Tuck Shop is open for business as of Friday, April 5, after what Rania Atif, president of the Arts Student Union (ASU), called a “very bumpy” road. 

The shop, located at the ASU office (AL 120), serves coffee and a variety of snacks including pop, juice, chips, candy bars and instant ramen. It accepts cash, debit and credit, and is currently staffed by volunteers. 

Staff positions will remain volunteer roles due to the amount of interest and so that the ASU can ensure student fees are “being equitably distributed across all our students,” though Atif added that volunteers receive benefits like discounts on store items and events the ASU holds, as well as increased opportunities to transition to the ASU executive team, an experience which Atif credited for helping her in future jobs through things like reference letters.

WatCard is currently not accepted as payment at the Tuck Shop, but the ASU plans to implement it in the coming terms. 

Reopening the Tuck Shop was “like starting a small business,” Atif said, due to the fact that the Tuck Shop didn’t have the systems already in place like other faculty coffee and donut shops. The ASU also hoped to implement a point-of-sale (POS) system, as opposed to the previous cash-only system, allowing them to provide different pay options and keep better track of financial records and inventory, which took time to ensure an accurate set-up. Aside from the POS systems, set-up also involved technical aspects like getting the fridge to work and acquiring coffee machines, with the last step being acquiring inventory. 

Atif said that  keeping track of financial records and inventory was important to the ASU, not only to ensure that they were staying within budget, but to ensure that arts students’ ASU fees were being put to good use. The ASU also wanted to be financially transparent to avoid “the same problems that, for example, math students encounter with MathSoc,” and show students exactly how their fees were being used to foster feedback. 

Reopening the shop has been on Atif’s agenda since last year, and she attributed the delay of the shop’s reopening largely to the ASU’s previous executive team having “sort of vanished” due to the widespread shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Atif expressed her hope that the Tuck Shop would help the ASU become a self-financing society. The initial goal is for the shop to cover investments and sunk costs, but Atif is confident the shop will be “an incredibly profitable venture.”

The ASU also co-hosted an event with UW Voices for Palestine, where posters and kuffiyehs (a traditional Arab garment that has come to represent Palestinians) were sold in front of the Tuck Shop, with all proceeds going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in support of Palestine. Atif stated that she did plan around the sale to drive more attention towards both the Tuck Shop and the UNRWA initiative.

“The ASU will always be a supporter of the Palestinian people’s liberation,” she said, explaining that part of the ASU’s job is to advocate for students’ needs, “and a big part of advocating for students’ needs and supports is to build awareness for Palestine.” 

Atif expressed gratitude in particular towards Sehaj Raj Singh, VP of retail, and Charlie Dickson, the executive director of the Tuck Shop, stating that essentially “nothing could have been possible without these two.”

Though Atif is graduating, she voiced confidence in the ASU’s remaining executive team to maintain the Tuck Shop and ASU’s ability to “be a connoisseur for all types of events and student advocacy.” Atif singled out Shruti Gulati, VP of finance, who revamped the ASU’s cheque request process which made it “incredibly easy” to track and process cheque requests, as one example of the “incredibly smart, competent, analytical group of individuals who make very careful decisions.”

This article has been modified to state that the tuck shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.