BloomU Takes Axe to On-Campus Dining

Sarah Erie, Co-Editor in Chief

Students lost some of their favorite places to eat when Bloomsburg announced that on-campus dining locations, such as The Husky Lounge, Qdoba and Steak N’ Shake, would not be opening this semester. Other hotspots including Starbucks at Andruss Library and Roongos Café will also be remaining closed.

Lindsey Paul, senior, said, “At first, I was really confused as to why they can open Chick-fil-a, but not Qdoba. This is my last year at Bloomsburg…where is my money going?”

This comes after Aramark, Bloomsburg’s food service company, reported a massive drop in income that left them down 32% compared to last year. James McCormack, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, was quick to defend the university, saying, “There are reasons for limitations in venues that tie back to demand and number of personnel on campus.” Compared to Spring 2020, Bloomsburg now has less than half of the students on-campus, a main source of profit for dining locations. This is more student participation than when classes went completely online.

BU has even had to borrow money from its reserves, an emergency bank account, in order to keep our dining afloat. “We have already had to dip into our limited reserve to maintain what we have open.” Like many companies, Aramark has faced its struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report by Forbes, Aramark’s “stock is down 50% year-to-date,” although the university does not plan to end their contract with Aramark anytime soon. Contrarily, Bloomsburg actually plans to begin a new contract on June 1st, 2021 with Aramark.

In addition to limiting our dining options, the university has also had to lay off a collective amount of its food staff. McCormack replied, “We have had to let half of our managers go…all the people who worked at The Husky Lounge are all gone.” Unfortunately for Qdoba lovers, Chick-fil-a develops “more foot-traffic” leading the university to save Chick-fil-a, but not it’s book-end counterpart.

However, there’s still hope, as McCormack seems optimistic that Bloomsburg will reintroduce these venues in the future, saying “We will absolutely be reopening…right now, we have more dollars going out than coming in.”

As for now, there is no set plan to reopen our favorite restaurants.