The C-store opened in the Outpost on the first day of fall quarter. However, due to its rather bizarre hours of operation, you many no have seen it or yet been able to shop there. Fortunately, changes are progressing, and should be evident in the near future.
When the C-store first opened, students were assured that it would not be a “WCG part 2.” However, in the opinion of Kelly Mooney, ASUWT Senator, “it’s absolutely WCG part 2.”
The problem is that WCG opened in the Outpost store without any agreement with student or student government. While WCG was the best and only viable option, ASUWT had hoped that an agreement on the food served and hours of operation would be worked out before opening.
According to Ed Mirecki, Director of Student Involvement, the goal of administration was to get a food service provider open on the first day of the quarter. The C-store, as it is, was the only option that would accomplish this, but changes and improvements are in the works.
While ASUWT wants a contract, the current agreement being produced in a Memorandum of Understanding. Mirecki said that, as in internal entity, a contract between the school and WCG would make little sense, but an agreement is necessary.
“It’s a work in progress,” he explained, but “it took longer than we thought it would.”
Part of the delay was due to miscommunication and levels of bureaucracy. Recently though, the planning has taken a turn for the better, as the necessary people have had the chance to talk directly with each other. Last week, ASUWT held a focus group with Angela Zurcher, manager of WCG, where they communicated suggestions. Mooney said that Zurcher is open to suggestions, and even willing to establish a regular meeting to hear from students.
Still there are limitations to what the C-store can provide. Since administration was unable to find a funding source that could cover a remodel of the Outpost in a way that would allow for a food service, the C-store is regulated as more of a convenience store. There are still ways to get around this and serve hot food, which Zurcher has been working hard to implement.
Hot soup is a recent addition, and a way to start selling pizza during lunch hours is in the works. It all comes down to finding vendors, which takes time. Hours have also been a point of contention, as the store is not open for very long. This is due in part to lack of business, as the store is funded solely by its revenue. Mirecki said that they are working to change the hours, but must first figure out when it will be most convenient for students; he explained that it is possible for the store to be open all day if it could generate enough business.
The grand opening, during which the winner of the name competition will be revealed, is happening on October 31. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions as to what the store should serve, when it should be open, or anything else, don’t hesitate to communicate them to ASUWT or Student Involvement.