Rifkin cafe should accommodate student requests

Beacon Archives

Nicholas Wesley, Correspondent

Recent changes to Rifkin Cafe seem to ignore students wants and needs. Sodexo fails to offer healthy alternatives to health-conscious students, and are charging them for products that they do not want to buy.

Progress is an illusive dream, or so it seems. With change comes growing pains, but with time come amendments, and so we progress. At Wilkes University we have seen many changes come about with our food supplier, Sodexo. Within the past few months we have seen changes such as late night in Rifkin, the dropping of Einstein Bagels, and the introduction of Starbuck’s coffee. Despite all the bells and whistles, there are still some major underlining problems with campus dining options.

Late night at Rifkin is one example as I experienced firsthand. When a person goes to eat one last time before they go to bed, they normally opt for something light and healthy to allow that person to fall asleep faster and wake up earlier. In my isolated incident I wanted a buffalo chicken wrap, nothing more, nothing less. Upon picking this one wrap I was told that it comes with chips, a fountain drink and a brownie. My reaction was simple. I said that I did not want the brownie, chips or fountain drink, all I require is a wrap. When I asked how much the wrap would be I was told I could not pay for the sandwich alone.

“We have to charge you for the whole package, you cannot just get the one item,” Sodexo said.

A student’s health is directly related to their performance. A healthy individual will have more energy and focus. More energy and focus translates to an increase in knowledge retention and problem solving. This is what a student needs to succeed at Wilkes University. Our food provider has not been providing us with the best options possible.

So I kindly went to the manager. I am planning on sleeping, the last thing I need before bed is a sugary drink, a high calorie low taste brownie or a bag of Lays potato chips. But as I was instructed, it would be impossible to serve me just the wrap, I am required to have these other food items. I am required to pay $7 to Sodexo because it is after 8pm and there is nothing they can do about it.

So there you have it folks, we built the Panama Canal, we figured out how to put a man on the moon in less than 10 years, but it is impossible to separate a meal from a sandwich after 8pm. Some how I’m not convinced. It’s a pricing strategy; Sodexo could care less what you eat as long as they get the most bang for their sub-par buck.

The second problem is there is no organic options, none, zip, nada. Besides coffee there is no chance of finding an organic tomato or chicken or juice. That’s a major problem. If I am expected to buy from this company, at least give me the choice to eat what I want, something healthy, wholesome, and something that is not killing the earth, acre by chemical ridden acre.

From this point on I am opting to vote with my dollar. I will not buy from a company that will sacrifice health for money. Instead I am going to shop local and do what this university is so keen on claiming they’re doing and that is enhance the Wilkes-Barre community. Bring outside funds into local restaurants, shop at the farmers market which is every Thursday on the square.

There are plenty of places that will give you much more bang for your buck. For example, Meyers BBQ, right on Main Street will give you a fantastic BLT with pulled pork for around $7, and they are open late! Circles, on the square, has delicious sandwiches and artisan food products, along with a deli to make your own cold cuts at home. Euro bistro has slow cooked, fresh gyro’s and salad bowls for around $5. There are numerous other examples, franks pizza, Pete’s Place, Akeno sushi, Abe’s hot dogs all which serve better food for much less than Rifkin. Most people get the block meals and dining dollars for convenience, but it’s a rip off.

What can Sodexo do? Give a S***! My goal is to show what’s available and how we can save money, contribute to the community, and best of all eat better. You only live once, why eat microwaved chicken when there is a cook slaving over a slow cooked BBQ chicken not 200 yards from you right now?