Food cart move leaves artists starving

Over winter break, College employees moved the food cart from the downstairs lobby of Holman Hall to the lobby of Armstrong Hall. The relocation of the cart – now called KinetiCart – was prompted by a decrease in customers, which some suspect was due to the opening of the New Library and the Library Caf?.

The Office of Auxiliary Services made the decision after working with Sodexho Dining Services, talking with the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Student Services committee and seeing ideas presented in a Lion’s Apprentice competition.

Priscilla Zepeda, a Sodexho employee at KinetiCart who worked at the cart in Holman for the last nine years, said on her first day in Armstrong that she liked the change.

“It was really dead over there (in Holman),” Zepeda said.

The College has ordered tables and chairs for an open area near the cart in Armstrong, and will eventually set up a microwave for microwaveable meals, she said.

Some art and computer science students who frequent Holman Hall said they will miss the easy access to coffee, bagels and other snacks that the cart provided. Also, 82 students have joined a group called “KinetiCart . how ’bout KinetiNO.”

Chris Rindosh, SGA vice president of Student Services, said that, as he understands it, the cart was originally set up in Holman because it was near the Roscoe L. West Library and students using the old library would stop at the cart. That changed with the opening of the New Library.

Rindosh said he thinks the cart in its new location could also be used by students in the nearby Science Complex, Kendall Hall, Business Building and Bliss Hall.

Some question the move to Armstrong Hall, which is in a corner of the campus.

“I think it’s a really random place to have food,” Alana Richards, junior elementary education/art major, said. “I feel like a lot of people are not over there.”

Rindosh, an engineering major, said the Office of Auxiliary Services asked him in Spring 2006 about moving the cart to the Business Building basement and he and his committee said it was a good idea. However, faculty in the Business Building asked to leave the basement open for class presentations.

Rindosh said his fellow engineering majors are excited to have coffee and food for sale in their building.

“They’d love to have food there considering they’re in there a lot,” he said, noting that the decision was not his.

For now, the space in Holman where the cart used to be is empty. There are vending machines, but Alfonso Callejas, junior interactive multimedia major, said he hopes the College puts in something more.

“I’m definitely going to miss it,” Callejas, who used to purchase food at the cart four to five times a week, said.

The Office of Auxiliary Services sent a campus-wide e-mail on Dec. 13, alerting students to the change.

“We encourage past patrons of the Holman Cart to visit KinetiCart, the Library Caf? and other campus dining venues,” the e-mail said. “We are confident that this change will better serve the community and enhance the convenience of on-campus dining.”

In addition to moving the Holman food cart, Sodexho also made other changes during the break, including adding a milkshake machine to the C-store and changing the name of Edith’s Place in Brower Student Center to Fair Grounds.

Fair Grounds, which serves fair trade Green Mountain coffee, came as a result of feedback from students, according to John Higgins, general manager of Dining Services.

Before the switch was complete, the fair trade coffee was taste-tested and reviewed in a Dining Services committee meeting in which students participated.

The food court in the student center was also changed. La Vincita, formerly the pasta station in the food court, has been renamed Garden State. It now features five different salads every day.

The pasta station, Higgins said, “just didn’t generate interest.” Interest, he said, is now more focused on healthy options, like salads.

“We took what was the healthiest,” Higgins said, and moved it to an area with more room.

An additional reason for the change, Higgins said, was the congestion common to the food court. He said that moving salads could help ease congestion around the deli station.

Congestion also motivated Sodexho to move the Tierra del Sol station in Eickhoff Hall. The station serves tacos, burritos and nachos and generates lines that can stretch into the tray stations.

To relieve this, Sodexho swapped this station with the omelet and international stations.

The moved omelet station will feature both vegetable oil, which is what Sodexho usually uses to cook with, and regular oils. According to Higgins, students have been requesting regular oils, which cook faster but contain more fat than vegetable oils.

– Additional reporting by Michelle McGuinness, News Editor