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The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

College considers new dining option


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For two years, the shutter has been pulled down on the window of the Allegheny Baking Company.

But now, plans are in the works to re-open the station, headed by Allegheny Student Government and Parkhurst Dining Services.

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All they have to figure out is what to put in.

After a month of deliberation, four options are still on the table: a Freshens Smoothie & Yogurt, a community-supported agriculture drop site, a value window for Parkhurst food and a Starbucks.

“[Choosing a new station] is something the Student Life Committee really got behind,” said Ali Trunzo, ’12, Director of Student Affairs. “Here’s the chance for us to pick something really cool.”

The senate will vote to narrow the options down to two at their meeting on Tuesday.

According to Trunzo, Parkhurst will hold a short trial for both options at the end of April.

“Right from the ground up, we’ve been trying to get students’ input,” said Michael Zanie, general manager of Parkhurst Dining. “If they support it, it has a much better chance of succeeding.”

The options aren’t without their drawbacks.

A community-supported agriculture drop site would offer fresh produce, but in bulk on a subscription basis.

“It wouldn’t be like, you could walk up and buy a zucchini,” said Trunzo. “It would be a commitment.”

Items would also be limited to whatever was in season at the time.

“A membership to weekly local produce would be amazing,” said Dana D’Amico, ’13, in a post on The Campus’s Facebook page. “Except when only lame vegetables are in season. (Looking at you, kale.)”

Freshens offers a variety of smoothie and yogurt options, but according to Zanie, the window was used to sell smoothies in the past and still flopped.

According to Trunzo, the recent Student Life Survey communicated a demand within the student body for cheaper options at McKinley’s, which a value window would fulfill.

However, she indicated that quality and customization of orders might suffer.

“Low-cost items aren’t going to necessarily be as tasty or awesome,” Trunzo said. “But there’s definitely a demand.”

But even if the value menu is voted down by the senate, it is still likely it may be implemented.

“The other thing they were thinking about doing was having a value option at each of the stations in McKinley’s,” said Trunzo. “It’s not like if the value line doesn’t get in the window that it’s not going to happen.”

But perhaps the most contentious proposition is putting a Starbucks in the location.

The Starbucks would have a limited menu, and would be worked by Parkhurst employees, but it would be an authentic Starbucks location that students could patronize with Munch money.

The problem is the coffee shop already in operation one floor above: Grounds for Change.

“There have been cases where a Starbucks and a campus coffee shop coexist on campuses,” said Trunzo, though she admitted that most of these examples occurred at larger schools.

“This is why we’re trying to have a much larger conversation about this with the campus community… but it’s really one of those things where you probably don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens.”

GFC president Heather Neylon, ’12, also expressed concern.

“[Starbucks has] Fair Trade certified products, but because they’re such a large corporation, that amount isn’t really progressive,” said Neylon, pointing out that only 3 percent of Starbucks products were Fair Trade. “I think it will take away from GFC as both a unique coffee shop and as a Fair Trade progressive shop.”

Despite the concerns, Starbucks remains a popular option among students.

“Starbucks,” said Bess Green, ’10, in a tweet directed at The Campus. “All day and everyday [sic]. #sorryGFC.”

ASG will vote to narrow the options at their meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center.

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  • S

    SteveApr 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    One of the colleges near my home in Illinois has a small Chick-fil-a station in its equivalent of McKinley’s. I know that the chain is not without controversy, but who doesn’t love Chick-fil-a nuggets?

  • J

    James Hepplewhite '09Apr 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    As a GFC alum, this proposal for a Starbucks on campus seems unnecessary and wrongheaded. One hopes, from afar, that the student body chooses something else to fill the space.

  • K

    KritikaApr 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    STARSUCKS more like it!! Better options for free space in CC lobby: THRIFT STORE- so many people have been talking about this, it would be an opportunity for students to utilize a space for exchanging clothes, furniture, books etc they don’t want or dont know how to get rid of at the end of school year! Late night food- C’mon after 12, its only Vochellis and vending machines. A space where the dictatorial regime of the CC ‘no taping policy’ does not hold=safe place to advertise for u n me. Oh also, how about selling produce from Allegheny’s On campus farms and Edible Allegheny project? Anything but bland (just as their coffee) pointless corporate outlets! WHO wants that when we have GFC!!!

  • S

    StephApr 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I don’t understand the logic of using the window as a drop-off site for a community-supported agriculture project. Couldn’t any space be used for that? Why not find another space for the CSA drop-off — and then use this space to offer prepared food or drink, whether it’s Starbucks or Freshens or something else? I’m all in favor of a CSA drop-off — it just seems like a waste of that particular space.

  • S

    SteveApr 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Opening up this aspect of McKinley’s would probably be great for students who live at the fraternities or off campus housing that may be closer to MKs than Brooks.

    Providing quick order sandwiches, fresh smoothies, and other quick, but decent meals out of here would be great. Possibly also sell local products like bread and other items for students who want to buy local for their home kitchens.

    While I love the idea of Starbucks being there ( I mean, really love it. I bring bags with me to make it each semester), I feel like we already have a fairly strong competition between GFC and MKs for their coffee prices and their variety.

    GFC has cornered the market for high end coffee products. It also houses the more, for a lack of better description, ‘artsy’ aspect to our CC (hosts bands and social events, specialty and custom drinks, the student made and highlighted artwork, etc.). But maybe the higher end students would be the main buyers of a Starbucks outlet.

    I admit I would probably go there a few times just because I have a card with them (hoping they would accept it) and gauge the quality of an outlet vs. a full store, but when I wanna nice place to study in the CC, I go the GFC and get a big cup a’ Joe.