Sent to the Bell Ringer, Augusta State University’s student newspaper on 3/21/2001:
Marriot Food Service’s decision to trim its services does a great disservice to the faculty, staff and students here at Augusta State University.
I think that the decision to cut the hot line from the school lunch room was a bad idea. Not only can we now look forward to a more limited menu, Marriot Food Services can look forward to an increased loss of business. Do they honestly believe things will get better for them by doing this?
Students are losing their reasons to eat here on campus. Now, you either have pizza, salad, soup or a sub or you go somewhere else with your money. If that’s all the cafeteria has to offer, how many times a week do you think the average student will eat here? Once, maybe, if they even utilize the facility at all. Cutting the hot food line was a very bad idea. Think the lunch room is losing money now? Wait until they see what it is like when it’s not used at all. Fewer people are using Washington Hall now. Think this is a coincidence? I don’t think so. I think this is definitely one decision that needs to be rethought.
The school needs to look for better alternatives to encourage the usage of its facilities. If our school had some sort of swipe card system, we could simply charge meals to a personal account. Something like this could be hooked up to be used on soda and snack machines, in the book store and in both the Washington Hall cafeteria and the Butler Hall snack bar. The Technology Committee has $266,000 to spend before June 30, 2001. Part of it would be wisely spent on developing a system such as this for the University. Making it easier to use the facilities here will probably increase the amount of money coming in and will increase usage. Universities and colleges our size within the University System of Georgia are using these kinds of systems. Why can’t we?
I know the swipe card system is something that has been under some consideration by the university. The Phoenix even recently ran an article on it. Now is the time to move forward. If more adequate services are not provided to our students, we’re not going to have any reasons to stay here. Getting a system such as this in place is a step in the right direction. Let’s not waste this opportunity.