The students have spoken. Right upfront, it looks like the new student center is a smashing success. Half the people say the food is not better, but most seem to like the new space.
In 2019, The Voice reported on the student center’s then-upcoming Bruce Lindsay Café, to find out more about their plans and the logic behind the new lunch system. They promised more inclusion, the use of debit/credit cards, and a pizza oven. Now that it’s finally here, and people have had a few weeks to acclimate, what are the students saying about it?
The biggest question is whether or not this new meal system’s food quality is better than the old one. The people have spoken with a resounding “your mileage may vary.” Supervisor Angela Mayzum said, “[w]e’re really trying to get improve the quality of food that we get delivered.” About half the students I spoke to found the food was noticeably better, about a third did not, and another third felt only some things improved.
Each meal comes with an entrée, two sides, a drink, and a dessert. The stations are Near & Far, Wooden Stone, Cutting Board, Fields, and Fire. Food from each can be bought a-la-carte as well, for those who do not have a meal plan. They also have daily meal specials, which can be seen on the Vanguard Bon Appétit Bon Appétit webpage at https://vanguard.cafebonappetit.com/. A burger and a drink a la carte would cost $9.75 when bought without a meal plan. As a combo, a burger, drink, and all the fries you can fit on a plate only costs $6.95.
They take debit/credit cards, Flex, cash, and Campus Cash, which they called Diner Dollars (that is, if you don’t have a meal plan). As for the building itself, not one single student disliked the new building; everybody responded positively. “I think it’s really cool to see all different types of people…experiencing fellowship in a lot of different ways, like…there’s a place where commuters and residents can finally be in the same place,” said student Levi Modoza.
Fellow student Kayla Higgins said, “The coffee shop is really awesome, and giving a space for students to relax and study and belong is really exciting.” Curiously, one student thought that it was too loud and could maybe benefit from sound-proofing, while another said that she appreciated how it blocks out sound.
Even though initial responses were universally good, there were some critiques. One student said that some of his friends missed the buffet-style: “…the food quality is definitely better…but the food portions are a lot smaller,” noted Naradain James. Tabitha Eggington said the building needed a little work. “…I think it kind of feels like an airport…there are no decorations so it kind of feels impersonal…overall, it’s not too shabby, it’s not too bad.”
It’s fair to say that the student center is appreciated. Here’s to another 100 years at Vanguard University.