Deranged student calls for boycott of local CVS until demands are met

Ryan Kushner, Opinion editor

The local CVS Pharmacy’s recently introduced “No Bookbags” policy is one that should be frowned upon by students at Mercyhurst until the cheek muscles get sore.

Not only does this policy demean and inconvenience students (who are obviously prone to backpack-wearing), but it makes it much more difficult to steal items in the store.

We, as backpack-wearing students of higher education, are being called out by this popular chain drug store, which boasts a large green banner proclaiming that all Mercyhurst students are supposedly “welcome.” Yet, the uncompromising “ALL BOOKBAGS MUST BE LEFT UP FRONT” notice at the entrance perhaps insinuates otherwise. When someone tells me I am “welcome” somewhere, I usually do not expect the next words out of his or her mouth to be “now put your hands where I can see them” (unless I am visiting my manicurist, Melvin Smaults, Ph.D., who has no eyebrows and likes to speak frankly).

What is next? Will the hardworking, and generally quite friendly employees at CVS be forced to perform cavity searches on all students before they are permitted to exit the store? Will the pharmacist soon no longer be the only one who gets to inspect my rash?

The current backpack procedure at the store is as follows: individuals wielding bookbags are instructed to leave them with the cashier behind the counter at the front entrance of the establishment before they begin their casual shopping for Slim Jim’s and over-priced soap.

As a person distrustful of banks and paper currency, I of course keep my gold with me at all times, typically in my backpack next to my licensed firearms. Am I to trust my bag filled with $10,000 worth of pure gold and weaponry to an organization that clearly refuses to trust me not to fill my backpack with pretzel M&Ms and run away into the night?

The 24-hour CVS already had several fairly intense security measures in place long before this awkward “bookbag” notice was printed out and taped to the doors. The store is filled with numerous cameras, as well as high-end metal detectors. There are also employees continually monitoring the aisles throughout the day. Is this extra no-backpack policy truly necessary?

Since the unfortunate nap-sack ban, I’ve been forced to steal at much less convenient locations, such as Wal Mart, a place where students and thieves are treated with some respect.

Yet, I have continued to part with my hard-earned gold doubloons at CVS to purchase my various ointments. Recently, a thought occurred to me: I’m going to die someday. Then, another occurred to me: Why would I continue to be a patron of a store that presumes the worst of me and groups me in with a negative student stereotype? Well, because it is an extremely convenient place to shop for Mercyhurst students.

As my mentor/mailman Arnie Glunk used to say before being slain by a giraffe (he liked to taunt them): “American convenience will be the death of the American soul.” Are we, the proud backpackers of Mercyhurst University, willing to accept this disrespectful presumption of guilt for the sake of pure convenience? What would the Mercyhurst Hawk say?
The only response to this egregious anti-backpack stance is a boycott of CVS Pharmacy until the policy (which is not always strictly enforced) is retracted, and the white slip of paper scotch-taped to the door is brought down like the Berlin Wall.
Mercyhurst students surely constitute a significant amount of the store’s income on a weekly basis, and the absence of their patronage would undoubtedly be felt.

Our demands will be simple: eliminate the no-backpack policy, $1,000 worth of ExtraBucks (sale items NOT excluded) and a removal of all Fergie songs from the store’s sound system.

Yes, it will require a temporary severing of easy access to supplies (Gatorade, paper towels, medication, etc.), but the taste of effecting change will be much sweeter than the taste of the midnight Twinkie.

Hopefully, with this temporary sacrifice, CVS will realize that some of its largest patrons (MU students) are not willing to compromise on respect, and the insinuating sign and policy will be removed and we can put this whole backpack debacle behind us and resume stealing from them more effectively.