South Campus food court closes

ALIX MATTINGLY/Herald South Campus’ Food Court sits empty as students are made to look elsewhere for meals and snacks. The campuses food court has been closed since the start of the fall semester.

Quiche Matchen

Hungry students wanting a snack between their classes on South Campus will have to stick to vending machines.

At the start of the current semester, the South Campus Food Court was shuttered and wiped off the Restaurant and Catering Group website.

Gary Meszaros, assistant vice president of Auxiliary Services, said the food court has been closed.

“The food court isn’t needed because most students eat before or after they get to South Campus,” Meszaros said. “It hasn’t had that many sales in the past two years.”

In place of the food court, Tim Colley, director of Dining Services, said a new food option in the South Campus bookstore features “grab-and-go” food.

“At this time we will feature a variety of bakery items, coffee, pastries, grab-and-go salads and sandwiches,” Colley said. “Based on the school’s request, we will also have some prepared Subway sandwiches.”

Even with the added food service, the South Campus Bookstore now has shortened hours and is now closed on Fridays.

Meszaros said he thinks students will benefit from the food court’s closing.

“The new food service will be easier for students and more efficient,” Meszaros said. “We’re always going to adapt to what students want.”

Louisville freshman Nashai Tilford said she doesn’t think the change will be easier and more efficient for her.

“It’s bad, I think,” Tilford said. “They will lose business and money because putting it in the bookstore will be more confusing.”

Bowling Green senior Dustin Mustread said he used to frequent the food court.

“I wish the food court was open because it was convenient to be able to get a snack before class,” Mustread said. “Now that you can’t, it’s a big change.”

Colley said he couldn’t say whether or not the change would be permanent because it is a university decision.

“But students’ participation and support of the program will, of course, be the primary consideration,” he said.

The changes to the store and the food court have some students questioning WKU’s relationship to South Campus.

Lexington junior Chelsea Wilson said she can’t tell what WKU’s plan for South Campus will be in the long run.

“I believe South Campus is still an important part of WKU,” Wilson said. “However, due to recent construction, it definitely seems like South Campus is being neglected.”

Jim Sears, assistant director of operations for the bookstore, said WKU still cares about South Campus.

“South Campus is WKU — it’s just at a different location,” Sears said.

Sears said there are many students that go to South Campus and still have other classes at the main campus.

“I think the distinction between the two places needs to be done away with,” Sears said. “I mean, they’re all WKU students.”

Sears said the changes made to South Campus were thoughtful changes.

“Right now, we don’t have the exact numbers to show if we’ve made the right decision or not,” he said. “We’re very flexible, but we don’t want to change so much that we can’t help the student.”

He said the hours at the South Campus location, like the other bookstore locations, have had major changes.

“We’re just making sure that we’re being solvent and giving back to the university,” Sears said. “We didn’t go into this offhandedly. We went into this making sure that we’re providing services.”

Sears said these changes are very much in “experimental mode.” He said any change they make isn’t permanent.