Op-ed: The promise of a Coffee Shop on Campus has yet to be fulfilled

(Photo: Twitter)

by Dan Longtin

In the spring of 2016, Andrew Card, former President of Franklin Pierce University, attempting to develop a coffee shop on the schools campus for the fall of 2016.

When the fall came around the coffee shop was never built.  It is now the spring of 2017, and there is still no coffee shop.

In the fall of 2015, Card stood in front of the S.G.A. and answered that a coffee shop was in the works.  It was only to be kept confidential in the S.G.A. body. The following spring, the news became public.  Card had concrete plans for the project.

According to an article written by  Senior Robbie Sequeira, the coffee shop would serve as a small café and would be built in the back of the DiPietro library.  Blueprints and a schedule were created.  All the university needed was a vendor.

The battle was between either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.  In an interview by Sequeira, Jim Earle, Vice President of Student Affairs commented that “Starbucks is definitely eager to set up shop in Franklin Pierce, and I think students would be extremely receptive to a Starbucks in the library,”  Because there is a Dunkin Donuts just down the road from the campus the school was swinging towards the café being a Starbucks.

A major concern the school did have was that if this were to be created, how much business would Sodexo lose?  Matthew Valliete, Franklin Pierce University Sodexo Manager, explained his disagreement on the subject and even spoke highly of the idea on how the school would get the best of both worlds.

So with approval from faculty, students, and Sodexo, this project should’ve been in the works?  The answer was a negative, students arrived back to campus this past August not only without a new café, but also with the introduction of the new Universities President, Kim Mooney.  President Mooney met with students arriving early and had no response to the question asked about the café.  So not only were there no definitive answers but no plan to move forward with the project.

It is now the spring semester, and the school still has yet to show any signs of moving forward with this amazing idea that was supported by most of the Franklin Pierce University community.  Is this lack of funds?  Is it because of a new president? Is it because the school could not get a contract with a vendor?  There is no definitive answer but was not put to the attention of the public.

If a university creates a project and have a deadline given to the public, then this promise should be followed through.  Instead, the faculty has gone quietly about this subject and done nothing to come up with any alternative that has been brought up to the campus.   If there is a guarantee that something will be built and can’t be fulfilled, at least give an answer.

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