Colleges could benefit from diversified cafeterias

Illustration by Maria Salvador, April 23, 2014
Illustration by Maria Salvador, April 23, 2014

The student body of Pierce College has been grateful for the open cafeteria and the services provided by the vendor. While Love Birds Café is occupying the space, it is only a temporary solution.

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is trying to make a cost effective decision to provide the same food vendors on all campuses of the nine colleges in the district.

This attempt at an economic move by the district is not moving fast enough for campuses with appropriate facilities, which are forced to stand idle when they could be in use, to provide a place of commerce and leisure on district grounds.

Rather than force conformity amongst all colleges, the LACCD should allow the different campuses to decide on an individual basis and sign vendors themselves with approval of the district. This will promote diversity amongst vendors, more choices for students, and competition.

More specifically to Pierce, the design of the current cafeteria can become problematic to finding a long term solution.

While it is designed to host multiple vendors, the conflict resides inside the kitchen. For the vendors to work, they must share a communal kitchen, which may not be appealing to a franchise like Taco Bell because they may not want or be able to share cooking space for sanitation reasons.

Modifications to the cafeteria may be necessary to allow the college to branch out and acquire other vendors. If the design of the cafeteria can not be fixed, a catering style vendor who can manage a large cafeteria and provide a diverse food selection may be the answer.