UR students will not yet be able to enjoy the local coffee shop Java’s on campus as hoped. It was slated this semester to possibly replace Java City, the ARAMARK-run coffee shop currently operating in Wilson Commons.

Various problems arose with this undertaking, leading to the present delay in action. Java’s presented their ideas over the summer, which coincided too closely to the start of classes, and did not allow for time to begin the entire process.

“You need zoning board approval, you need layouts, drawings and permits are required,” UR Senior Purchasing Manager Jack Noon noted. “This takes time and is difficult to accomplish. You can’t simply just gut the place and renovate, it is a process.”

Java’s currently has locations in downtown Rochester near the Eastman School of Music and one at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier also agreed that the timing wasn’t optimal. “The timing just wasn’t good. We tend to not do projects during the school year,” she said. “The [project] isn’t gone, it’s just on the back burner.”

Administration is, however, in favor of improving the coffee shop, and is looking into ideas for the project as part of a campus-wide look at the food service as a whole.

“We’re exploring that option,” Noon said. “We’re looking at the whole big picture, to find out what will be the most value to students.”

Toward the end of October, a group of outside consultants will be evaluating the entire dining service.

Student input is valued, and will be taken into consideration for changes and improvements to the coffee shop. “When attention is turned to programmatic issues, we will work with The College to make sure there is student input,” Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Ronald Paprocki said.

The consultants will report back to the campus on their findings, and UR administration will move from there. The report, however, will not be complete until the first of the year, and any changes to the coffee shop may not happen until next summer. “[Students should] not expect change til summer break,” Noon said.

There are plans also for ARAMARK to meet with the Student Affairs Office and possibly carry out short-term changes to the coffee shop. “There’s a possibility of bringing in couches, that sort of thing, to bring a feel to it,” Algier said. Noon agreed, saying the two groups will work towards making it more of a “coffee shop appearance.”

Paprocki also expressed similar thoughts. “I can say that there is a desire to enhance our coffee house beyond the improvements that have already been made this year,” he said.

Java’s makes it a point to work toward the comfortable ‘coffee shop’ atmosphere. Java Wallys, the Java’s-run coffee shop located in the library of R.I.T., personifies the typical coffee shop decor with multi-colored walls, hanging art and comfortable couches spread everywhere.

Students seem to enjoy the atmosphere, and employees are satisfied with the workplace as a whole. “It’s the best place to work in the world,” said Patricia Peone, a MCC student who works part-time at Java Wallys.

Many students have expressed unhappiness over the current coffee shop which acts as a central location for students. “I wish it could be more cozy and student friendly without converting it to a chain,” junior Ellen Ray said. “I just wish it had more character.” Sophomore Megan Green, a Java City employee since the fall of last year, also expressed discontent. “I personally don’t like working here. Things are broken or out of stock all the time.”

Java’s owner Mike Calabrese said that they are still keeping in constant contact with the administration at UR and are trying to do everything they can to still make the project work. “We’re bending over backwards, doing everything we can,” he said. “There’s no reason why students shouldn’t have a place to hang out. It’s a win-win situation for the students and faculty, and it will add culture. There’s no culture at the UR campus now.”

Linden can be reached at klinden@campustimes.org.



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