Choices on Campus Change According to CAS Reports

Photo by Laura Luengas

Sodexo, SUNY New Paltz’s main food service provider, continues to modify the availability of on-campus food services based on reports given by Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS).

Construction on campus and quarter-hourly reports, which reveal the customer count of each food venue on campus for every 15 minutes, has affected the placement and scheduling of food venues on campus within the last couple of years. Due to construction, CAS established new on-campus food venues in an effort to maintain an equal amount of food venues on campus each semester. In the fall of 2008, for example, Parker Theater’s Backstage Cafe was opened in light of the closing of the Student Union’s Jazzman’s, said Ralph Perez-Rogers, general manager of food services.

With the opening of Student Union’s Atrium and an examination of last semester’s quarter-hourly reports, the placement and availability of food venues has been adjusted once again.

This semester, the Backstage Cafe is only open on weekdays as opposed to last year when it was opened on both weekdays and weekends.

Even though the Backstage Cafe is closed on weekends, Perez-Rogers said Sub Connection, Tokyo Sushi and Seattle’s Best are now available on weekends. And, during the week the campus has gained an additional food venue, Mojavista.

“The reason we didn’t open Parker is [that] there was not enough demand to have that many venues open,” Perez-Rogers said. “Since the [Student Union] looks so great… we thought that was something we would focus on.”

Steven Deutsch, executive director of CAS, said that according to quarter-hourly reports, Backstage Cafe also did not have a high demand on weekends.

“Typically, we’re a campus where a lot of people go away on the weekends, and so the operations have to sort of shrink down to match the number of people that are actually on campus,” Deutsch said.

Although Student Association (SA) Executive Vice President Eve Stern agrees that Backstage Cafe is not necessary on the weekends, she said she usually does not eat on-campus food during the weekends because she thinks the options and hours are limiting.

“I think it’s great they added the Mexican place but I still feel like it’s not enough,” she said. “I still get bored of like, the same things. Especially for someone who is vegan or vegetarian, it is even more limiting.”

Deutsch and Perez-Rogers agreed if a high demand for all food venues to open during the weekend became clear then they would consider a change in schedules.

At the end of the semester, Perez-Rogers and Deutsch will review the quarter-hourly reports and renovation plans in order to determine next semester’s hours.

Hours will most likely be modified next semester “based on when people are actually showing up to eat,” said Deutsch.

Changing the availability of food venues on campus is not only done at the end of the semester, Deutsch said.

“There is not a specific time to do it. If it looks really obvious in the beginning or in the middle of the semester that people aren’t being served, then Sodexo will make a change,” said Deutsch.

With the possibility of changing hours, Stern suggested that CAS update its website as soon as hours are modified.

If students wish to see a change in weekend hours or have any suggestions for CAS, Perez-Rogers encourages students to approach him and their CAS Board student representatives SA President Jennifer Sanchez, Stern and third-year political science major Jonathan Freifeld.