If Rocky’s wasn’t there, what would you like to see in its place?
An ice cream shop, a taco place, or a spot for snacks and appetizers were among student attendees’ answers at a forum held by Dining Services and Wilson Commons Student Activities last Thursday about the future of Rocky’s Sub Shop and Lounge.
“We’ve noticed that Rocky’s has some sort of identity crisis,” said Laura Ballou, director of the Campus Center and assistant dean of student life operations. “We really believe that we should get students’ feedback so we could know what the next steps should be.”
The possibility of having a pub or bar on campus in Rocky’s space was also discussed.
“We have a permit to serve alcohol in the building so we can put a bar in there,” Ballou said.
Dining Services and Wilson Commons Student Activities are considering changes to Rocky’s and Late Night Douglass based on student needs.
Yet, only six students attended the forum.
“If we get rid of the sub shop, we know we’ll have to put a sub shop somewhere else on campus,” Director of Marketing of the Dining Services David Feist said. “As a programming space, Rocky’s hasn’t changed since Starbucks was opened, 10 years ago.”
Attendees gave some feedback on the services provided in both Late Night Douglass and Rocky’s.
Some concerns were raised about the ordering system in Late Night Douglass being inconvenient.
“It would be better to possibly separate between where you order and where you pick the order,” said senior Gabrielle Dimoff, who is also an intern for Dining Services.
Some attendees said that the lights are too bright in Rocky’s, which makes it a less welcoming space.
Someone also pointed out that the board games at Rocky’s were seeing little use, as not many students know they are available; only one student out of six of the attendees knew about them.
“I was told there is board games, but I forgot about them for the whole semester last year,” said first-year Josiah Johnson, who works at Rocky’s. “I don’t think anyone uses them.”
In spite of the low attendance from students, Dining Services and Wilson Commons Student Activities are going to run more surveys on late night dining throughout the semester.
“Tonight was just one of our first steps, we are talking about turning this into a survey so we could have people fill it as they are waiting in line in Rocky’s,” said Ballou. “We also have [a] suggestion to present at the Senate meeting […] to get some more feedback.”
According to Ballou, if the feedback shows that students want minor changes in Rocky’s, then these should be accomplished by the end of this semester. If students suggest renovation, it would take much longer, and might not even happen by next fall.
“Our goal is to create an inviting atmosphere for students to gather socially, provide exciting programs, and to incorporate desired actions in those spaces,” said Feist. “We realize that there is a lot of opportunities within Rocky’s.”