by Reyna Estrada / Sports Editor
Students may notice the lack of grab-and-go options in the cafeteria on the second floor, and the absence of Starbucks at the cashier station due to the decision to move those features down to the Michigan Lobby and reopen the Franklin Cafe. Bill Reich, director of food services at Roosevelt University, explained that he hopes to use the Franklin Cafe to create a space that felt a little more homey than the main cafeteria.
“Back in the past, students sort of saw this as something different, you know just to get away from the regular for a little while, which is nice,” Reich said.
Some students have noted the crowded and busy atmosphere in the cafeteria throughout the past year and they’ll hope these changes address those problems. Junior biology major Burke Babeu said, “Often times, I was able to finish my food, waiting in line, before I could even purchase it.”
In addition to the new Starbucks, the Michigan Lobby also features a cafe-like experience with quick snacks and options for freshly made salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Reich said that he believes this will help contribute to a higher quality dining experience for the students.
Some students believe the decision to move the Starbucks will be a positive change. Oliva Byrne, a junior journalism and media studies major, said, “That sounds like a good idea to me because then there’s not as many people waiting in line in the regular cafeteria.”
Other students are a bit more reluctant to the concept. While Babeu says he understands that the change may speed up the regular dining experience, “I don’t see myself going down to the first floor of the Auditorium building.”
The changes are not exclusive to the Michigan Lobby area however, with the main dining hall also facing adjustments. Returning students may recall the previous “Marketplace” station which has been replaced with a daily pasta and pizza station in hopes of providing something “consistently popular” according to Reich.
While the station will typically serve pasta and pizza, students can keep their eyes out for a little variety. “I am worried about it getting monotonous and routine, so we’re mixing it up with some other things up there as well,” Reich said. “So we’ll do appetizer nights at that station, we’ll do calzones and we’re gonna be doing some seasonal plates.”
The dining hall also offers a new flavor rice station and slight differences in the menu at the grill. In addition, there has been a reduced number of plastic bottles available for purchase in an effort to become more environmentally friendly. “It was time to take that next step and try to reduce our plastic waste as much as humanly possible,” Reich said.
The food variety offered in the cafeteria is something students have taken issue with. “For someone that really values what they are putting in their body, the diet that I eat downstairs is a very high carb diet, and I don’t like that. I would like to see healthier vegetables,” Babeu said.
Additionally, some individuals with dietary restrictions have struggled with the type of food available. “We really have no options for vegans and it’s kinda sad. Sometimes there is even meat and stuff on it,” Byrne said.
Reich said that he hopes some of the new changes bring a little more variety for those with dietary restrictions, particularly the Pasta station. “It’s good for vegetarians, it’s good for vegans, it’s good for people who are watching their weight,” he said.