Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.

Pop-up thrift stores are everywhere. As long as dorm closets are overflowing and others are barren, students will exchange used clothes.

This semester, we’ve consistently seen pop-ups by McKeldin Library and Tawes Plaza as well as online-only operations. You don’t need to look far for many examples of these. Student-run thrift shops have helped our community get new fits, buy gifts on our way to class and in some cases, make money.

I once believed these pop-up owners were making out like bandits. But then I considered the massive undertaking required to build an inventory of vintage, relatively clean clothing, put fair prices on everything and move it all to a high-traffic campus spot for a few hours.

The University of Maryland is developing a future high-traffic spot along the Purple Line where Old Leonardtown once stood. This future graduate student housing area would be a great location for student-run businesses to sell their wares.

This university should open a permanent space for student pop-ups in this new economic corridor to promote sustainability and student businesses.

The store would give vendors what ghost kitchens give restaurants: space, promotion and a presentable storefront. It should be maintained by this university because of its location on campus property.

Vendors would be chosen based on their inventory size, experience and commitment to their craft. Student businesses would rotate on a regular basis regardless of performance to give as many a fair shot as possible. This university should ensure that students are getting most of the money from this arrangement.

Vendors would have to be full-time students. The application process would be free and prospective vendors would undergo an interview process and inventory evaluation that’s more tailored toward businesses than the school’s existing space reservation system.

This new development, which will include housing for graduate students where Old Leonardtown once stood, will be part of the new commute taken by Purple Line riders, with its own “East Campus” stop. Commuters would be, at the very least, intrigued by a student-run pop-up and could be inclined to explore it.

Our local economy needs to take advantage of the incoming Purple Line corridor, considering how we’ve suffered from its development. With this store, surrounding businesses would also benefit from an increase in patronage, benefitting all of College Park along with this university.

Thrift shopping has also become a useful tactic to curb the unnecessary waste caused by “fast fashion”, the purchasing of trendy apparel that’s only worn for a season before it’s thrown out. If this university wants to affirm its expressed commitment to sustainability, it should support practices like thrifting.

Where else would we buy clothes within a reasonable walking distance? The University Book Center is loaded with merch, but it’s pricey. Besides, wearing too much Maryland stuff could make people think you’re a tour guide.

With the Target under Landmark closed as well, students at this university are aching for some way to refresh their wardrobe as the seasons change. For the graduate students living nearby, it would be a way to connect with this university while enjoying student goods.

Our closets are cyclical by necessity, with many students refreshing their wardrobes over breaks when they return home. Giving thrift shops and other student clothing ventures space would help with this issue.

Vendors also cause disruption by blocking Testudo, interfering with tour groups and distracting students studying inside. They don’t belong on the McKeldin steps. They belong in their own space provided by this university.

Their customers should not be students on the way to class, but shoppers seeking new clothes. Their work can be the beginning of a career, not just a side hustle. Supporting student artists and entrepreneurs in their side hustles would show this university’s commitment to all of our endeavors, not just academic ones.

This university takes a lot of money from us. This would be a way for us to get some.

Joey Barke is a junior government and politics and journalism major. He can be reached at