Country cafe

Natalie Yemenidjian

Current plans for the food court include the obliteration of our cafeteria, the Country Café, which is not prospering the way the administration and district want it to.Plans by the Los Angeles Community College District, to bring in outside food and beverage venders to the food court, follow in the footsteps of four-year institutions such as California State University, Northridge.We shouldn’t ignore this change because the cafeteria has been a communal spot for many years, comforting students with home-style cooking.The plan is for the cafeteria to be torn down and a new food court to be opened in two years.The district has gone out to the public for bids for developers who will build, run and operate a food court on campus.Many kinds of restaurants will be built in the food court at Pierce. However, we can eat their food anywhere in the world. There would be no originality in a food court.For example, McDonald’s has more than 30,000 restaurants serving 52 million people daily in more than 100 countries each day, according to the McDonald’s official home page. They don’t need to build another artery-clogging store on our campus.Most people know what they serve. If you eat a Big Mac in Qatar, the taste doesn’t change.On the contrary, head chef Jose Cruz spotlights ethnic food and gives us nutritional value. We can’t eat his cuisine in Qatar. Also, he cooks Italian, Mexican, American and his original food in front of patrons every Wednesday. The smell from his cooking encourages our appetite and excites us to eat healthy food. The Café hosts events, like karaoke Wednesdays and small jazz concerts, which draw students in and provides a breeding ground for unity. More and more people in the world are focusing on “slow” food instead of “fast” food. The slow food movement is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability and social justice, according to Slow Food USA, a non-profit educational organization that supports and celebrates North American food tradition.The Café is getting exponentially better, with new phone lines to support credit card services and dedicated cooks who want students to leave satisfied, yet we’re getting rid of it.Although the threat of a budget crisis looms on the horizon, we should spend a little more to maintain what money has failed to buy us in the past at Pierce-unity. Pierce and the district should carry out a poll of the Country Café among students and employees before deciding to take it away. Why build something up just to tear it back down? Ask the district.

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