Students see Brower Student Center Food Court – located near the academic buildings but not far from the residential end of campus – as an ideal location at which to get food before, between or after classes.
“It’s so convenient,” Sangita Desai, junior finance major, said. “If I’m hungry, I can just pick up a snack on the run (at the Food Court).”
Many freshmen and sophomores, however, feel that they cannot take advantage of this convenience because doing so would require use of their limited supply of points under the new Carte Blanche program.
Many complain that even the highest amount of points available is not enough, and also say they do not want to use their points when they have also paid to eat at Eickhoff Dining Hall anyway.
Because of this, Desai said she now considers her ability to eat at Eickhoff Hall as a privilege. “I’m happy that I’m a junior,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to be in the place of the freshmen or sophomores.”
When asked if she felt bad for the underclassmen, Desai said no. “They got the better housing,” she said.
Sodexho employees working in the Food Court said they have noticed a distinct change in the population utilizing the dining hall.
“It’s busy between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m., but that’s it,” one worker, who spoke anonymously, said. She said that before Carte Blanche, the dining facility was always a lot busier for a much longer period of time during the day.
She said she therefore blames the decrease in business at the Food Court on the Carte Blanche program and said she knows a lot of students are unhappy with it.
“A lot of students have been complaining,” she said. “They do say they love the breakfast (at Eickhoff Hall), but they wish they could come here (for other meals).”
Catherine Hutchinson, a Sodexho employee who operates Edith’s Place, however, said she has not noticed a difference in the amount of business Edith’s Place has been receiving.
“I thought it would be (slower) but it hasn’t been,” she said. “They (the students) love their Starbucks Coffee.”
She did predict, however, that business will slow down later on in the semester once students’ points are low.
Elena Robinson, a Sodexho employee working in the Food Court, said she predicts Carte Blanche will become more accepted with time. “I notice a lot of people aren’t satisfied,” she said. “After they get adjusted, it might get better eventually. It’s just new and they’re adjusting to changes.”
The anonymous Food Court worker, however, said the dependency that Carte Blanche places on points to obtain any food out of Eickhoff Hall is not right.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” she said. “They’re paying all this money – or their parents are – and they can’t eat where they want.”