The Student Run Business Organization reopens the Weidner giftshop

UW-Green Bay is breaking ground as the first public campus in the state to have a student-run business and their own recognized Student Run Business Organization. The organization, part of the larger Student Run Business Association, had to persevere through a rocky start, but has been running smoothly this past semester.

The Student Run Business Organization (SRBO) was originally founded by two senior students back in 2020 with the intention of running a clubhouse at the golf course on campus. However, COVID prevented the club from following through, and the student leadership graduated, marking the end of SRBO. In the Fall of 2022, the SRBO was reinvigorated, and started anew with a different group of motivated students including President Aubrey Pinkerton and Vice President Ben Thompson.

The students of the new SRBO found their project when they were invited to reopen a giftshop in The Weidner. There had been one previously, but this fall is the first time the space will be open and running since the early 2000s. The giftshop business is completely run by the students in SRBO.

SRBO and the giftshop provides an opportunity for students to get hands-on, direct experience running a successful business. Responsibilities for leadership in the group include managing trainings for students, scheduling shifts, and taking the lead in making business decisions. The group meets once a week to assign tasks and regroup to decide what needs to happen next with the business.

In addition to a learning opportunity, this new giftshop is another example of students fulfilling the UW-Green Bay mission to be a positive impact in the community. Currently, the giftshop is filled with merchandise from three different local artists, with more coming to the space soon. “We set out to support local artists and give them an outlet,” said Thompson.

The giftshop space connects these artists with the larger Green Bay community. “Patrons of the Weidner love to support local businesses and the arts, and this makes it easy for them to do so,” said Pinkerton.

The Weidner giftshop will be open for most shows, especially through the holidays. They will open the doors 90 minutes before the show, during intermission, and will remain open for 30 minutes after the show.

Any student can join SRBO, and students interested in getting involved with the giftshop can reach out to SRBO.

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