April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Join us today as the University Centers Green Team presents “Practical Home Recycling – Do’s and Don’ts in Eau Claire County” featuring Eau Claire County Recycling Coordinator Jon Tulman.

Noon - 1pm – Arrowhead Room of Davies Center
4 - 5pm – repeat of noon session, Wisconsin Room of Davies Center

Other Upcoming Earth Month Events
April 23 – Earth Movie: “
Energy Crossroads”, with special guest Lori Snyder - P007, 7 - 9pm
April 25 – Earth Day Celebration - Owen Park, 11am - 6pm
April 28 – Panel Discussion: Climate Change - The Cabin, 5 - 6:30pm
April 29 – Local Food Buffet - The Dulany, 11am - 1:30pm


Anonymous said...

In the library lobby there used to be a nice semi-quiet area where you could do some last minute studying before you had an exam. You could conveniently go there without having to climb the stairs up into the library, and there were plenty of comfortable chairs to type away on your laptop. If you would talk too loud people would glare at you. It wasn't silent, but there were (and still are) signs urging the nonuse of cell phones or loud conversations.

However, that was last year. Sometime over the past year in the exact spot I used to study and have my morning coffee in relative silence, they put a big, fat ugly coffee cart. Where it used to be unacceptable to talk above a quiet murmur I hear coffee grinding and loud conversation.

Basically my study area was raped and destroyed for the sake of corporate profit.

My question is does blugold dining understand that the library is for learning before it is for socializing in a coffee shop? I understand its not technically IN the library but its a library area.

Yes, I understand many students may have called for a coffee cart there and many like it, but I also know of many students who are annoyed by the destruction of their study area. Its less convenient to go into the library and if I try to study by the cart I have to study under the sound of grinding coffee and people talking in loud voices. Is there no better place to put it, or even to enclose the area?

By the logic that "many students want it" we may as well add a McDonalds Express right in the middle of the computer lab of the library. I'm sure many students would enjoy it, but just as many would be annoyed.

It's too late for my personal study area, but when making decisions about where to place dining areas in the future please keep academic considerations as priority.

Or at least destroy my study area with good real coffee like franchising out the goat, instead of crappy corporate McDonaldized personalityless grown on slave coffee bean farms (unless you pay an extra 3 dollars for the fair trade) coffee.

So please, give The Goat a call and ask them to franchise, make my loss of study area not be in vain. (or Racy's would work) I bet they would charge less franchising fees too. I don't like green mountain.

Christian Wise, GM - Blugold Dining said...

First and foremost, I appreciate anyone using this blog to put issues on the table to be discussed. Thanks.

The chief misconception is that corporate profits motivated the creation of a coffee venue. The University decided to put a coffee venue in at the library as a service to its students, faculty and staff - many people have been asking for a coffee venue and the University was finally able to make it happen in conjunction with Blugold Dining. The coffee service in library for the majority of this school year has either lost money or just broke even. We have received a number of positive comments regarding its existence because it is a good service.

The critical question is "should the University be in a constant state of determining what services it can extend to their students or should the University be unresponsive?" I respectfully suggest that the University should be responsive to the needs and desires of its students. In this situation, that responsiveness seems apparent.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is neither a franchise nor does it charge a fee - it is not a Starbucks or a Caribou. After much research, this coffee roaster is the most socially responsible roaster that we were able to find.

Racy's, the Goat, Coffee Grounds, Acoustic Cafe all get their coffee from a variety of sources, while some can sort of guarantee organic, none of them can guarantee 100% fair trade. Of the top four, only one roasts their own, Coffee Grounds.

We made the selection of Green Mountain and the University approved the selection because of the company's track record on both fronts. They are the most socially responsible company we have found and we continue to resist going to Starbucks, even though a poll of 1750 students puts Starbucks as number 1 choice.
What people ask for is only one piece of the decision making process, a very critical part, but only one part.

Regarding your statement of opening a "McDonald's Express" in a computer lab, I have not heard anyone ask for such a thing, but any decision would be balanced with the needs of all students, the design of space and the purpose to be achieved. Quite honestly, regardless of how many people ask for something, if it doesn't make sense or is harmful, its probably not going to happen.

Finally, Blugold Dining's emphasis is to buy more locally produced products. We are exploring partnerships with a variety of local businesses including Just Local Foods. During the past year, we have dramatically increased our local purchases and will continue as much as possible.

Again, thanks for your note.