Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Starbucks is not all it’s brewed up to be

Mary Ellen Aldrich

Posted on March 04, 2017 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

By Dionne Smith, Free Press Staff

The Glickman Library’s new Starbucks installation has received mixed reviews. To some people, it seems like a blessing that there is a coffee shop in the library, but to others it’s seen as an excuse for a Starbucks to be on campus. Was the installation worth everything put into it?

The small Starbucks installation cost around $20,000$25,000 according to Buster Neel, USM’s chief business officer. But none of that comes from the university. The money is pulled from a one-million-dollar contract between USM and Sodexo, which states that in the first two years of the contract, there is one million dollars available for university renovations through Sodexo.

While the Starbucks in the library is small, it’s not the completed product .

“The initial goal was to have more of a full service,” Neel stated “We simply didn’t have the time to get everything done for the spring semester.” The plan that Neel and Sodexo have in mind is putting another $20,000$25,000 into the installation to make the Starbucks full service.

A Starbucks is in the library instead of Coffee By Design or a student-run business for a big reason, which is  demand. Requests  from student, faculty and staff showed a big demand for a Starbucks to go into the library. According to Neel, Sodexo also wanted to be present in the library, and David Nutty, the Director of Libraries, also wanted something to pull more students into the library.. On top of high demand, another reason that a Starbucks is there instead of a student-run business is because there were no other ideas were put forward, which would have been  put through a bid section.

While Neel said he has heard mostly positive feedback, he also stated that he has heard that some people are disappointed that it’s not  full service. Neel looks forward to the upgrade that the Starbucks will receive over the summer to make up for its current small state.

“I think you’re going to have much more variety than you have now,” Neel stated.

Neel believes that Sodexo sees the Starbucks as a good investment. While the Starbucks hasn’t had as many customers, Sodexo believes that will change once fall comes and the upgrade has been completed.

The lack of customers at the Starbucks is apparent, as many students haven’t even been to the Starbucks. There are students that have been there, but are disappointed with it.

“There weren’t any machines and the coffee was lukewarm,” said an anonymous student. There are students who have skipped out on purchasing anything because nothing special was offered.

“It didn’t seem like a real coffee shop. It seemed like the same as the Coffee By Design except less options and the coffee is still bad,” Mariah Ross, a 20-year-old biology and communications major. “I think if they didn’t half-ass it, the Starbucks would have been a nice change.”

However, not all students see the Starbucks as a disappointment. There are some students who think the Starbucks is a great addition..

Sacha Kiesman, a freshman political science major, said that while she does believe that Coffee By Design supports the local economy more, the coffee quality does not surpass the quality of the coffee at the Starbucks.

“It’s nice to have coffee in the library so you don’t have to go to Woodbury first,” she added.

Brent Shabnore, a senior majoring in psychology, loves the Starbucks. He believes it is in a convenient spot.

“You can’t have a library without a coffee [shop] at the bottom of it. It’s basic economics, he said.

Not everyone will agree about  the Starbucks. Some see it as wonderful, others see it as a waste. Regardless, the Starbucks will see an upgrade this summer, which may resolve some of the issues student have.