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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Grab-’n-Go dining locale to be added

Published: November 20, 2009
Section: Front Page

Students returning from winter break will have one more dining option in the form of The Upstairs Café, Student Union President Andy Hogan ‘11 announced at his State of the Student Union Address last night.

The creation of The Cafe, which will be built during break in Gluck Lobby (commonly known to students as the entrance to Pachanga) is the result of a collaboration between Hogan, Dining Services and The Department of University Operations.

The Cafe will have what Vice President of Campus Operations Mark Collins called “limited hours” and will be open from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Monday through Friday in an effort to alleviate “the trend we’ve seen this semester of everyone converging onto Sherman and Usdan, which have small footprints, during the same peak times.”

“If you get in line at five after 12, there’s going to be a 15 to 20 minute wait,” Collins said, “If you have class at 12:10, we understand that’s going to be a pain in the neck.”

This trend could be caused by the university’s decision last spring to admit 400 additional undergraduates over the next four years. This year’s first year class is almost 100 students larger than in past years, which could lead to what Hogan called “our overcrowding problem.”

“With an increase in students must come an increase in student services,” Hogan said.

The Cafe will be “a grab and go type of place,” Collins said, with all sandwiches and salads served being pre-made or mostly pre-made.

The Cafe will be unable to serve heated food because of the lack of ventilation in Gluck Lobby, which Director of Dining Services Mike Newmark wrote in an e-mail message to The Hoot will increase food variety throughout campus.

“The grab and go sandwiches and salads will be different than the current grab and go sandwich and salad selections offered in other dining locations creating even more choices and more variety throughout dining,” Newmark wrote.

However, the creation of The Cafe, which will be financed by Aramark, is meant to be a short-term solution to the problem. Collins said he hopes to replace The Cafe with an eatery in The Mandel Center, when its construction is completed in Fall of 2010.

“This is not a dining hall, there will not be anything elaborate. It is a temporary solution to sort of tide us over until the Mandel Center is completed,” Collins said, adding that from its conception, there have been plans to include a dining option in the building.

Currently, Collins, Hogan and Newmark are exploring how they could provide additional dining services to students on campus. “We are exploring the idea of installing some sort of P.O.D. store in the vacant space in the Village across from the gym in order to give students on South campus greater access to food,” Collins said.

While these plans are not at all final, Collins said that if a P.O.D. store was installed in the Village, he, Hogan and Aramark would then explore the idea of removing the groceries from Einsteins Bagels in the Shapiro Campus Center and expand the bagel selection and seating area of Einsteins.

“This part isn’t going to happen over break,” Collins said. “But we are exploring this idea and other ways to increase dining options for students.”

At the State of The Union Hogan announced other efforts on the part of the Union to alleviate overcrowding on campus, such as housing and academics.

Hogan said the Union is advocating for the renovation of the Charles River apartments so they will be more attractive to students and better accommodate the upcoming influx of students on campus.

Hogan also cautioned students to be open to change in Brandeis academic life such as the Justice Brandeis semester.