UB ‘aware’ of CVS closure, ‘reviewing’ alternative retail options

Robert Hundley

UB is “aware” that the CVS located in The Commons is set to close in January and is “currently reviewing options to sell certain health and personal items on campus,” a university spokesperson told The Spectrum last week.

CVS is a campus staple for over-the-counter medications, food and essential products — especially for students who don’t have their own transportation. The Spectrum reported on CVS’ impending closure on Nov. 16, following reports that the retail chain would be closing.

A university spokesperson said that UB offers resources for students looking for essential goods. South Campus’ Michael Hall provides prescription refills and pharmacy services as well as over-the-counter medications. Student Health Services will be moving from Michael Hall to Maple Road, near North Campus, this spring.

The university also offers transportation to local malls and grocery stores, like Wegmans and the Boulevard Mall. The new TransLoc app offers an on-demand safety shuttle service, which bus students within a “1.5-mile radius around the South Campus,” from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. during the fall and spring semester.

“The university is aware that the CVS location on Lee Road which is part of The Commons, will be closing,” a UB spokesperson said. “The Commons is an independent, privately owned development, and CVS is also privately owned and operated. UB is currently reviewing options to sell certain health and personal care items on campus, and will communicate to the UB community when there is more information to share. For example, Campus Dining and Shops is stocking additional health care items at the ELLI @ Ellicott.”

A CVS spokesperson confirmed to The Spectrum in late November that the campus CVS will be one of 900 stores nationwide to close amid shifting consumer buying patterns.

“The closure of this store is not a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our employees,” a CVS spokesperson told The Spectrum. “We understand the disappointment of our closing store’s neighbors and customers. We are committed to the area and will continue to provide the community with outstanding service at our other stores nearby.”

Although UB says it will offer additional accommodations, some students worry that the absence of CVS will make purchasing weekly essentials more difficult.Freshman pharmacy major Kelechi Ogbonnaya says having a central location to pick up necessities is crucial to residential-campus life. 

“I live in Ellicott so I get the ELLI, but there’s people who live in the apartments where this [CVS] is much closer than going all the way over there [to the ELLI].” Ogbonnaya also questioned how the ELLI would fit additional medications and supplies, considering that it’s already nearly full.

Other students, like senior history and education major Giancarlo Pyrce, see the problem from a different perspective.

“In terms of products CVS specifically carries, I wouldn’t say that I purchased those things online,” he said. “Honestly, I’d probably just go to Walmart or Target rather than go to CVS and buy household items or maybe the beauty supply store with more options.”

Despite this, Pyrce understands why students may be wary of this location shutting down.

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“I live on South Campus so the pharmacies were closer in that area and more readily accessible, rather than the last two years, my junior and senior year,” he said. “I live on the North Campus and now this is the easier way to go about it, unless you have a car, it would be difficult.” 

Freshman Business Administration major Purvika Chaudhary goes to the campus CVS about twice a month. She says, “it is the most convenient store.”

“Closing it would just make it hard because as it is there are less convenience stores on campus,” Chaudhary said. “The campus is so big, so it was really helpful to have CVS.”

Jack Porcari is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at [email protected] 


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Jack Porcari is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science major with a minor in journalism. Aside from writing and editing, he enjoys playing piano, flow arts, reptiles and activism. 

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