Since starting here as a student, many of us have seen campus food options in a perpetual state of flux. The disappearance of the Student Center’s Snack Bar which hosted an appetizing menu of fries, sandwiches, burgers and salad to the downsize and eventual elimination of the Warner Cafe which offered a comforting mix of breakfast sandwiches, bagels, muffins, and warm beverages, caused many students last semester to scramble for other food options. While Western Connecticut’s cafeteria food has a decent C on college.niche.com, college students can’t solely survive on cafeteria food and vending machines and many opt for popular off campus options such as Soho Pizza or to eat on Westside Campus which offers more exciting variety such as sushi and Mexican-style food bars.
This semester, students returned from winter break to be greeted by a new campus dining option: Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Haas Library. Einstein’s Bagels serves a host of tasty bagel options, sandwiches, muffins, cookies, hot and cold beverages. In order to evaluate the student dining options fully, I took to campus and asked a few students and faculty what they thought of this most recent addition to their menu.
Andrea, a senior, said she normally eats at Soho and Einstein’s, but that she prefers Einstein’s better, warns that one thing to beware of is the long wait. As several students have mentioned waiting up to half an hour for a bagel! This poses a concern to students rushing to class on time, so make sure to plan your meal times accordingly. Yidieo Cruz, a sophomore, residing on campus has his meals scheduled methodically and currently splits his meals between the cafeteria food, which he occasionally gets tired of, Einstein’s, and Westside Campus dining options. His one critique is that Einstein’s might have been better suited to Warner Hall. After hearing several other suggestions to this affect from students, I went to the library to evaluate the situation.
While cafes in libraries are not unprecedented, location is important. Roseane Shea, adjunct librarian who has been at WestConn for ten years, comments that, “[there] is a lot more traffic, congestion, and noise, but that a café in the library is a great service to the students.” She also notes that everything is still in the evaluation stage and “we are currently still looking at what is most conducive to students’ study.”
The students in the library don’t seem to be bothered by it; many of them can be seen conducting study groups in the computer section directly across from the café. Some use ear buds as a tool to block out noise and stay focused. The computers that previously stood in the area occupied by Einstein’s Bros. Bagels were relocated to the back end of the library.
The Cyber Café is the only place where students are technically allowed to eat or drink, yet the presence of this new café has caused those ruled to be relaxed and harder to enforce. It’s up to the student body to make sure the facilities are respected and kept clean. Overall students and staffed have ruled that this is a positive and delicious change around campus, and here’s to hoping there are more to come. Bon Appétit!
Writer: Victoria Arbour