Posted on Oct 25, 2006

Are you a big fan of the Bolshevik Revolution? A Dylan devotee? A connoisseur of Northern Italian cuisine? Chances are there's someone else at Union with similar interests and passions.

Now you can join the entire campus community in “shopping” to your heart's content, thanks to the Marketplace of Ideas, a virtual emporium that connects faculty, staff and students through their talents, skills and expertise on a wide range of subjects.

“The marketplace is Union,” said Professor of Economics Eshi Motahar, who spearheaded the effort to create the Web-based interface.

“Any member of the College community can exchange ideas and learn something that may not be a part of their everyday experience. The goal is to connect the campus through our interests and our spaces.”

Many Marketplace activities will take place in one of Union's seven Minerva Houses, tying in perfectly with the spirit of the Minervas as premiere campus gathering places.

“This is a unique way to support and enhance our Minervas. Once you set up your profile, the market will be brought right to you,” said Dean of Residential and Campus Life Tom McEvoy, noting that the Web site's categories cover arts, finance, gaming, health, travel, religion and everything in between.

The Marketplace is open for business and welcomes customers. Simply visit

“It's fully functional. You can register, browse and use it now,” says Web Director Jim Feck.

Others involved in Union's newest initiative include Professor of Biology Barbara Danowski, Professor of Economics Shelton Schmidt, Minerva House Representative Suzanne Benack and Senior Web Programmer Liam Miller.

“The site is easy to use and has a lot of potential for students who share a common interest, who are looking to start a band, book group or TV or movie night and might not know where to go,” says Ross Marvin '07, an early customer. “Now there is a new space, a campus-wide message board that connects people. It beats posting fliers.”

Please note: Kelly Bayne '07, Alex Handin '10 and Stephen Po-Chedley '08 will demonstrate the Marketplace, Friday, 1-2 p.m., in Reamer Campus Center.

The Marketplace will hold a grand opening next term with campus-wide training sessions, registration days and a splash of related events. Stay tuned.