Last Wednesday, in a filled Gowen Room, Dining Services proved yet again how firmly they have their thumb placed on the pulse of the student body. Director of Dining and Auxiliary Services Cam Schauf presented his ideas on how to develop the different aspects of dining on the River Campus, from major construction projects to the installment of a Starbucks in the Hive.
Starbucks is a very popular company that provides a large variety of options for coffee, tea and food. Having a Starbucks would provide UR students with a very special kind of employment as well – one that is transferable to any other Starbucks in the country.
In addition, Starbucks will double the number of name brands on campus – to two, along with Blimpie’s. So while the fair trade concern addressed by several students at the meeting is a real one that Dining Services does take very seriously, it is only reasonable to provide students with options to choose from, even if that means including non-fair trade options.
However, while this plan is still in the thought process, there are issues that need to be addressed before moving forward. For instance, the Meliora Express will cease to exist, and though there are plans to bring it back somewhere else far down the line, this cut is still a big mistake. Students would lose an entire food option, and the long lines and wait times that students endure in the Pit will only be exacerbated.
And speaking of our dark abyss of greasy delights, what changes are going to be brought to the Pit? Will walls be knocked down to make more room? Will line length be curtailed in any way? Will anyone serve the pasta shells that the Meliora Express made so well?
While we welcome Starbucks, the overcrowding issue needs to be addressed now as well. Wilson Commons is undoubtedly the culinary epicenter of the River Campus, and we just hope that Dining Services understands how far the problems reach.