Bring back vendors to bring us more money2 min read

EDITORIAL (week of Feb. 7)

La Voz Weekly

For students everywhere, including De Anza College, going to classes, taking tests and getting into teacher’s office hours takes up so much of our day, we often forget to grab that all-important meal to keep our energy levels up and bouncing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are victims of our scheduling conflicts and hectic student lives.

It hasn’t helped that food options at De Anza have been trimmed down and centralized over the past few years.

Newer students probably do not know this, but food vendors used to line up their small shacks and trailers outside of the Robert De Hart Learning Center. Cafe Roccoco, now in the upper level of the Hinson Campus Center, was once located in the L Quad (complete with charming spots to sit.)

And so, with all food now coming from the Campus Center, there’s a pigs-at-the-trough mentality. Each day when the Center fills to the brim with people, students mill about and the noise level becomes a loud, resounding hum of chaotic chatter. To be sociable is pleasant, but this is claustrophobia incarnate. We’ve created a dining situation that more resembles a mess hall than a dining commons. The Food Court cashier lines alone move at a frantic, feverish pace to keep up with the amount of students in them.

So what happened to having food vendors outside? While Dining Services has been doing a fabulous job providing diverse food options and healthy alternatives for students, great cuisine can still benefit from a bit of competition. A wider array of food choice lends itself to a more desirable and close-knit sense of community.

It was quaint to be able to grab a cup of coffee outside after literature class. Or to have a sandwich near the bubbling fountain.

De Anza is a place built on a theme of diversity as exemplified by administrators, student populations, and faculty. There is a wide variety of courses offered on campus, so why should that buffet be relegated to the food of the mind? Our stomachs hunger for something new, something that will harken us back to a time where food choices were plentiful.

Why did they close up shop? How can we bring them back?

As we approach a year of devastating budget cuts, in the best of scenarios, the Foothill-De Anza  Community College District will be facing up to $11 million in budget cuts. As members of this student-based community, we can embrace the notion of an expansion of Dining Services. A food stand would prevent bottlenecks in the cafeteria, keep the revenue generated inside the campus and provide a wider choice in dining options.

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