Opinion: No change needed for on-campus dining



Jody Michael

So the campus dining carousel keeps spinning at a rising speed.

Pete’s Arena Pizza is now Damon’s Grill. Quiznos is now Subway. But don’t get comfortable with any of the dining spots because they could disappear very quickly.

I haven’t been a fan of these changes, even as far back as Nathan’s and Arthur Treacher’s replacing A&W in 2009. That crispy skin on Nathan’s hot dogs? Blech. Plus, I’m not a fan of eating seafood, so Arthur Treacher’s and Salad & Sushi (which replaced Sunset Strips in August) never appealed to me.

Despite my anger at those moves, I deal with it. After the overhaul of two more dining spots, though—both of which are the result of a Dining Services survey of student opinions¬—I’m questioning the sanity of these decisions.

Let’s start with getting Subway—the news of which really slipped under the radar. We already have two Subway restaurants in Kent. One of them is on Water Street, and the other is on Main Street. Both are roughly two miles from the Student Center. You can take PARTA’s suburban route and be there in minutes.

Now that Quiznos is gone from the Student Center, its nearest location is a seven-mile drive to Streetsboro.

Congratulations, students. Since you wanted Subway and were too lazy to take the short trip there, you’ve actually reduced the number of food options in Kent. That would be like replacing Einstein Bros. Bagels with Starbucks.

I realize having two off-campus Subways meant nothing for students with dining plans, but in the end you’ve merely replaced one sandwich shop with another sandwich shop. Is that much of an accomplishment?

Don’t pull the “Subway is healthier” card either. Look at the nutrition facts from both restaurants. Both have healthy subs and unhealthy subs. Just stick to eating small subs with lots of veggies and few condiments.

By contrast, Damon’s Grill is back in Kent after shutting down its Main Street location in 2005, but it returns at the expense of Pete’s Arena Pizza. I liked how Pete’s sold slices for $2.19, so I could buy the exact amount of pizza I wanted to eat.

While the Damon’s menu does include pizza, it only offers whole 10-inch pies, the cheapest of which are $9.99. In fact, the least expensive main course is a burger and fries for $6.99, and that’s if you don’t want cheese on your hamburger. I can go upstairs to Nathan’s and get the same meal plus a drink with that money.

Sadly, many students with dining plans probably don’t mind because they’re already overpaying for that plan. It’s a no-win situation. Dining Services offers overpriced food to screw commuters and overpriced dining plans to screw resident students.

I am sympathetic to change for the sake of change in this situation—having the same food options for four years would get old. We just need changes that make sense.

Jody Michael is a sophomore broadcast journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]