New smoothie options at Connections will be available for student patronage shortly after spring break, but this remains distinct from the possible installation of a fully functional smoothie bar elsewhere on campus. The latter is more in line with the winning idea from the Students’ Association’s 5K Challenge, but the funds were not sufficient to support the renovations and machinery that would be necessary to support such a pitch.

Dining Services is, however, cognizant of student support for the possibility of a full smoothie bar and is now contemplating future installations.

“[The changes at Connections] will satisfy the 5K Challenge, but that does not mean that it is the final word for smoothies on campus,” Aramark Marketing Manager Kevin Aubrey said. “We are continuing to look at possible solutions for a dedicated smoothie bar somewhere on campus, but an investment of that nature would call for a renovation that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where and when a dedicated solution like that might be introduced is yet to be determined.”

SA Senator and freshman Stephen Wegman addressed the campus-wide confusion over whether the campus is receiving a full smoothie bar this semester or not.

“The idea behind getting smoothies at Connections was to implement the winning proposal before the end of the 2014 spring semester,” he said. “This was not meant to replace the addition of a complete smoothie bar on campus. Smoothies were only added at Connections this spring because it was not feasible to create a dedicated smoothie bar by the end of the semester.”

Although the money from the 5K Challenge isn’t entirely fulfilling the original proposal, there is overlap between the changes being made at Connections and any infrastructure that would be necessary to support an independently located smoothie bar in the future.

“We used the 5K challenge funds to invest in the smoothie program on campus, but the reality is the cost for two professional Vita-Mix blenders and extra containers will almost completely deplete the 5K funds,” Aubrey said. “For any future smoothie location we implement, we will need these types of blenders as well, so the 5K funds are still going to the right place.”

Aubrey also cited Danforth and Douglass as possible retail locations in which a full smoothie bar could be installed, if that idea ultimately comes to fruition. However, some students feel that other locations on campus would be more ideal.

“The whole point of this is to bring something new to campus, and a really nice thing about smoothies is that they’re healthy and fast, which means centrality is key,” senior Carolyn Holland said. “Connections is alright for that, but it would be more useful if we could have a combination smoothie and health shake bar in the gym. You’d have immediate access to something light, hydrating ,and potentially protein-boosted immediately after working out, even when you’re running to class or to catch the bus.”

This sentiment is in line with student input received during a Feb. 25 Dining Committee meeting. In addition to ironing out the final details of the upcoming changes at Connections, the biggest outcomes of the meeting pertained to smoothie supplements and use of smoothies as post-workout meals.

Connections will commence using Dr. Smoothie Crushed Fruit sometime after break, with the option for a banana add-in.

According to Aubrey, students at last week’s meeting expressed interest in other mix-ins, such as kale and spinach, which might be implemented in the future. Attendees were also able to sample the crushed fruit mix, but a larger scale sampling will occur in Hirst Lounge on March 21.

Sklar is a member of the class of 2014.



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