By Randall Taylor
It’s often the smallest details that matter the most in the life of students. This has proved to be true with a change in Humanities at the beginning of the fall semester.
Besides several other additions and changes made to Humanities over the summer break (new dance studios, removal of DVD players from classrooms, new walkways in front), the change that many students have found most notable was the closing of Aramark’s café in the hallway of the first floor. The cafe was the source of snacks, water and coffee for staff, faculty and students throughout the day. Long lines often waited outside the café in between classes during the week.
The café allowed students to get a quick snack for breakfast or lunch before and in-between classes so they wouldn’t be late. The convenient location eliminated the task of having to rush back and forth between Hillwood Commons and Humanities to get food before class every day, especially during inclement weather.
The decision to close the café was not an easy one, according to Edward Taraskewich, Aramark’s resident district manager. “Our team carefully analyzed the Humanities Café sales and expenses over the last several months and reviewed that data along with LIU administrators,” he said. “Ultimately, declining sales and increasing costs deemed the closure necessary.”
Although he was aware of the inconvenience it may cause for staff and students, Taraskewich did not lose optimism. “The close proximity to both the Bleeker Street Café and Hillwood Commons allows students, faculty and staff in the area to access a greater variety of foods and beverages, which can all be taken on the go to other locations.”
Over the years, students even became friendly with the staff in the café. As the Pioneer reported in 2012, when longtime Humanities Café cashier Joan Lavin retired, students expressed regret. [See Pioneer story http:// liupostpioneer.com/?s=Humanities+cafe ] While some students have not paid much attention to the closing of the Humanities café, others were aware of its departure and said that it has affected their daily school routine. Sophomore health/physical education major Andre Bennett said the shop’s closing initially came as a shock to him. “I was surprised at first. But now, ever since it closed down, I have to walk all the way to Hillwood Commons to get snacks before class,” he said.
Students are not the only ones affected. Barbara Fowles, chairperson of the department of communications and film, and longtime professor, said that the closing of the cafe makes life a bit tougher for students on campus. “In my opinion, closing the little café in Hillwood is another small cut into the quality of life
on campus, especially for students. I’ve seen students that had to run through the rain, and soon they will be running through the snow, to get something to eat between classes.”
Students and staff alike will need to plan their daily routines differently due to the change.