Lack of quality, freshness at 'New Doan' leads to boycott
November 14, 2005 —
When I first began attending SVSU, Science East was still under construction, the library had only two floors, the Student Center was a small parking lot and grass, the University Village was simply one row of apartments along Fox Drive, and I parked in B-Lot. There was also only one place on campus to eat: Doan Cafe. I'm sure most students on campus remember Doan Cafe (it was still around last winter), but they don't have the memories that many of us do.
I remember walking into Doan totally oblivious to the fact that I was getting ripped off big time when I swiped my card. Granted, using "The Card" was tax exempt, but I dropped at least $5 every time I ate in that place (which adds up to at least $15 per day). Instead of socializing in Doan, I would usually take my food back to F-House, which is now hidden in the alley behind the bookstore. Today, it looks a lot different.
I've never been "FoC'ed." Yes, I admit to being a Real Food on Campus virgin. I'm saving myself for the day when I have a few hours to spend munching on the delicious delicacies they supposedly offer at the infamous RFoC. In the meantime, I occasionally eat at Einstein's Food Court, or what I prefer to call "New Doan." Much is the same at New Doan: they still have the same cardboard pizza crust they had five years ago with toppings that look good yet taste like my taste buds were suddenly ripped from my mouth. The choice of beverages has increased significantly, but so have the prices. Sure, orange juice is healthier than anything else in the entire eatery, but it also costs $1.79 for a small bottle that I can conceivably drink in one gulp.
My biggest disappointment is the regression of Grille Works. Grille Works used to be my favorite place to eat because it had the best value; a hamburger with all the toppings was just over $2 and was very satisfying. However, Einstein has ruined my favorite dish. It used to be the case that I could walk up to the counter, order my food, and have a fresh sandwich within two minutes. Now when I walk up to the counter, they have stale burgers, fries, and other items sitting under a "warmer" that makes the food look more appetizing.
Or, I can wait 10 minutes for a fresh burger. But they cannot fool me. The food is nothing compared to what it used to be when they made it on-demand. All the mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions can't mask the dissatisfaction I get when I bite into one of Einstein's new (a.k.a. old) hamburgers. One can only imagine what the freedom fries taste like.
For at least a month, I have ordered nothing from Grille Works. It's officially a boycott. I vow to never eat anything from Grille Works until they promise me freshness. Perhaps they can learn a lesson from this student, whose new favorite place to eat is Quiznos. Sure, I like Subway better and Quiznos is expensive, but at least it's high-quality food. SVSU's next step should be to replace their gourmet (a.k.a. garbage) pizza station with Dominos or Pizza Hut, add a Taco Bell, and replace Grille Works with (it hurts so much to say this) McDonald's.
"It's too unhealthy," someone might say. Well, so is everything else on this campus. This is a campus where people complain about walking five minutes from the parking lot to their classroom. Heck, they probably spend more time driving around the parking lot looking for a spot 20 feet closer than they do walking from their car to the building. If one is so out of shape that they cannot walk to and from class in a timely manner, they should try using the Ryder Center; part of students' tuition goes towards fitness center access anyway. Otherwise, apply for a handicap sticker to hang on the mirror.
Bringing in other restaurant chains would lead to lower prices for students, faculty, and staff due to competition, and because most of them offer value menus. Imagine how happy students would be if they could pick up a 99-cent Double Decker Taco on the way to class.
People would be less likely to leave campus for lunch, which means there would be fewer traffic backups, accidents, and vultures driving around looking for slightly better parking spaces. Maybe most importantly, no one would have to deal with my complaints.
Finally, SVSU should offer more of a selection in snack and beverage machines across campus. Delta College has machines with SOBE energy drinks and sandwiches. Delta also offers both Coke and Pepsi products. SVSU has a machine with hospital food on the third floor of Wickes Hall, because they are special. Within the past year SVSU added energy drinks to the Ryder Center, but it simply isn't enough.
The University should stop going the cheap route and give students what they really want: variety and low prices without the unethical practices of Wal-Mart.