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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
The Eagle

AU gets new vendors

A grab-and-go sandwich shop, a Tex-Mex food stand and an Apple Store will appear on campus this fall, replacing Pura Vida, Chick-fil-A and the empty spot in the tunnel. A redesigned Eagle's Nest will also open by the start of fall semester.

The sandwich shop will have fresh, ready-made sandwiches and salads that students will not have to wait in line for, said Director of Auxiliary Services JoDe Norris. It will likely be open until midnight.

"This grab-and-go is going to have a real extensive menu," Norris said. "It'll be ... specialty sandwiches down to your ham and cheese, as well as your salads. Basically one of the things we hoped to capture in doing this is the evening crowd."

In an unscientific survey of 85 students by The Eagle, 65 percent of students reported that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the decision to bring a sandwich shop to campus.

The Tex-Mex food place will have the feel of Chipotle, Norris said. Students will be able to select items from a menu and make their own creations.

"It's going to be, I think, exciting," Norris said. "I think the students will really enjoy that just because [in] all the surveys, I get Taco Bell a lot and Chipotle."

While 62 percent of students surveyed by The Eagle said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the Tex-Mex replacement, Michael Yarnell, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he would miss Chick-fil-A.

"It's kind of sad because I'm a big fan of Chick-fil-A and was happy to find one on campus," Yarnell said, while eating Chick-fil-A in The Tavern. "Tex-Mex is okay, but I prefer to keep Chick-fil-A."

Bon Appetit will manage the new vendors, which will not accept meal swipes as of now, Norris said.

"That's kind of annoying," said Elise Alexander, a freshman in the School of International Service. "I really wish they would [accept meal swipes]."

The university decided not to sign a contract with a franchise in order to remain flexible, Norris said. AU would be charged if it wanted to back out of a contract with a franchise, she explained, but with Bon Appetit, the university can make changes more easily if the students do not like the food.

In addition to the two new food vendors, an Apple Store is scheduled to open on campus by the start of fall semester. The store will be located in the tunnel next to the UPS Store, according to Norris.

It will be similar to the Apple Stores in a mall, Norris said, with displays to touch, bright lights and a technical assistance area. Smaller products such as headphones, iPods and some computers will be kept in stock, she said.

"I think the successful part of the store is not necessarily about the MacBooks," Norris said. "Typically you buy one computer and that lasts you the whole four years or several years. I think the success of the store is going to be the technical side, being able to bring your equipment in, get it fixed and not be out of service for a week because you couldn't get to the Apple Store."

McKenna Taylor, a senior in the School of Communication and an Apple computer user, agreed that the Apple Store's technical aspect would be convenient. Students with PCs have access to the Best Buy in Tenleytown, Taylor said, so an Apple Store would be a nice addition for Mac users.

"I would have used [the Apple Store]," Taylor said. "There were times when I needed to get stuff for my computer and I had to drive. I think the community will use it too."

In The Eagle survey, 47 percent of students reported that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the incoming Apple Store while 39 percent reported that they were very unsatisfied or unsatisfied.

A redesigned Eagle's Nest will also open in the fall, featuring a center island with more "healthy" options such as vegetables, salads and wraps, Norris said. The aisles and drink coolers will also be altered.

The aisles will now face the center of the store, rather than the windows, making it more difficult for customers to shoplift, she said.

Subway will stay open during the summer remodeling of the Eagle's Nest. Panini Express and Field of Greens will be combined into one stall during the summer while Einstein Bros. Bagels will be closed until the Fall semester.

This semester, Auxiliary Services also put together a group that evaluated the Coca-Cola Company to determine if it is socially responsible. The group examined allegations that Coke is socially irresponsible and violates human rights.

The university's contract with Coke ends in June and the contract will likely be bid out to Pepsi Co. to compare the offers, Norris said. Terminating the contract with Coke will depend on the findings of the social responsibility group as well as benefits and sponsorships Pepsi offers to athletic teams and events, she said.

"It's a dual part," Norris said. "They both have to make sense. Social responsibility has to also fit with the financial responsibilities of that contract because that contract helps the university a lot with all the activities and things that they donate to and what they have available for the university. Without having comparable to what they have now, that would be not a wise decision [to switch vendors]."

You can reach this staff writer at landerson@theeagleonline.com.


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