Vassar: Students deserve more dining options in LSC

Ethan Vassar

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The old adage “time is money” could not be truer in the life of a college student. Students are paying for their time at the University, and in addition to classes, students have other responsibilities. Between work, volunteering or sports, students must find some time in between all these activities to feed themselves.

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Thankfully, Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center offers several dining options for students too busy, or too lazy, to cook. The LSC’s website claims that all venues are “top of the line” and “provides variety … getting food at your favorite spot is always simple and accessible.” Chain restaurants include Panda Express, Subway, Garbanzo, Taco Bell, Spoons and Carl’s Jr. Local fare is also represented with both Bagel Places and That’s A Wrap.

However, some of these places being “simple and accessible,” like the website claims, is not necessarily true.

Both Bagel Places close at 2 p.m., operating just seven hours a day, and That’s a Wrap closes at 3 p.m., also operating seven hours a day. The LSC website boasts that “possibilities are endless” for dining options, but it seems that the possibility of having a pizza bagel or panini ends at lunchtime. The narrow operating time limits the amount of choices students have and makes lines longer.

Students are already stressed enough and should not have to worry about whether or not they have time to eat. If lines are too long, students may skip meals, which results in fatigue and confusion, as the brain needs food to be at 100 percent. A college student’s time is money, and it is a waste of both to wait such a long time for food, especially when it can result in poor classroom performance and poor health.

There is a lot to gain for both students and the University from lengthening hours of operation.

Later hours means more revenue, which means more money for CSU. There would be more student job openings at these places needing more employees for new extended hours. Employment during college is a necessity, and on-campus jobs are extremely convenient. It would be a win-win for both parties. With so many potential benefits for both students and the University, Bagel Place and That’s a Wrap should highly consider staying open later.

If staying open two or three hours later is too much to ask of these places, then perhaps it is time for a change of scenery in the LSC food court.

Something like a Chick-fil-A comes to mind as a worthy addition. There is no doubt it would be popular and could be a highlight in the LSC for campus tours. A cheaper option would be beneficial, since many students suffer from food insecurity. A Washington Post article reports that an increasing number of students are skipping meals or eating less because they don’t have enough money for food.

At Subway, a footlong, chips and a drink comes out to be about $10. A plate and drink is $9 at Panda Express. A burger, fries and a drink at Carl’s Jr. ranges from around $7 to $10. College students have, on average, $43 to $55 to spend on food weekly, according to a USDA food plan. With a meal costing $8 on average at the LSC, sticking to a $50 budget is difficult at best.

There should be no concern about chain restaurants replacing local scenery. The Aspen Grille still exists and uses 10 locally made or sourced products. Additionally, the on-campus coffee shops and Ramskeller still provide a uniquely CSU dining experience.

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A place like The Colorado Room could solve both issues, providing a less expensive and local meal.

Considering the heavy foot traffic and how often students rely on the LSC for meals, they deserve more options, or at the very least, places with hours considerate of the life of a student.

Ethan Vassar can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on twitter @ethan_vassar.