Matador Mall allows students to shop ’till they drop

Champaign Williams

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Graciela Vargas, 18, a sociology major, browses for fashion finds at the USU Matador Mall on Nov. 5. Photo credit: Jacqueline Kalisch / Daily Sundial

Matador Mall is back again this year for a week, with vendors selling a variety of items including jewelry, clothes, posters, and much more outside of Bayramian Hall.

For more than 14 years, the University Student Union (USU) has invited independent businesses to set up and sell their merchandise to students.

“The vendors allow students to shop where they are,” said Shanell Tyus, USU event manager. “The more vendors there are, the more students are attracted to it.”

Many vendors have been consistently participating in CSUN’s Matador Mall for more than 10 years.

“Some (vendors) are familiar with campus and what students want and appreciate,
said Tyus. “It is kind of a community within a community.”

Sam’s Clothing & Accessories and Accent Design are two vendors that have participated in Matador Malls for years. Sam’s Clothing & Accessories sells women’s clothing, body jewelry, sunglasses, scarves and other accessories.

“It’s nice coming to school and seeing (Matador Mall) here. It’s a stress reliever to come here during break and relax with friends,” said Michelle Gutierrez, freshman kinesiology major. “They have good prices and it is convenient because I don’t have to go to the mall.”

Jose Valdez, marketing manager of FlashCards101, a nonprofit organization formed by Content Technologies Inc. (CTI), had a flat screen and computer set up in his booth to visually illustrate how his product worked.

FlashCards101 is a unique iPad and iPhone application that provides textbook specific flashcards for almost any textbook. Students can study vocabulary words and content from any chapter using these virtual flashcards.

“We try to (come to campus) more so if students have questions we can be here to help them,” said Valdez. “We have four out of five stars in reviews.”

Some other non-independent business vendors participating in Matador Mall include Pizza Rev, Howl at the Moon bar in Universal Studios, and CostCo Wholesales.

Juan Rodriguez, sophomore business management major, said the Matador Mall is cool.

“I can walk out of class and just take a walk through it,” Rodriguez said. “It’s convenient and gives me something to do besides walk around.”

Stuart Sidwell, owner of Accent Design, has been participating in Matador Mall since 1993. Sidwell sells large plastic wrapped poster boards for $10 to $15.

“I love this school because it is very diverse,” Sidwell said. “These kids are very artsy and I do well here.”

Sidwell’s son Michael is a junior business major here at CSUN and assists his father whenever he comes to sell products at Matador Mall.

“It’s really cool having my dad here. I get to see him at school and communicate with kids about my dad’s business,” said Michael Sidwell.

The business owners and company representatives have fostered a sense of community after participating in Matador Mall and similar fairs on other college campuses for years. Tyus said this is how many of the independent businesses are sustained, by travelling from venue to venue selling their merchandise.