Plans to expand on-campus dining underway

Eating on campus isn’t too much of a problem for Argos cook and vegetarian Andre Costoa.

“It’s pretty much half and half in Argos; they have salads and vegetables but also some meat,” Costoa said.

Pretty soon, though, Costoa and others around campus will have more dining options, according to Jeff Mack, assistant vice president of Campus Business Services for USF.

According to a map of campus eateries, USF has 21 places to grab a quick bite or an entire meal, including convenience stores, smoothie bars and coffee shops. Only two of these are on the west side of campus, near the Engineering and Health Sciences, and both close at 4 p.m.

“We’re working with some new ideas for the Engineering and Health Sciences side of campus,” Mack said. “It’s an ongoing process. Aramark has only been here for three years.”

Mack’s office works in conjunction with Aramark Food Services to make dining decisions for the USF campus.

“Aramark helps us decide where we will get a lot of traffic and what type of food to sell in that area,” Mack said. “Right now it’s the area around the Subway and Burger King. The Starbucks in the Library is one of the busiest in Tampa.”

He said his office also has plans to extend the hours for the Burger King near Cooper Hall. The new hours would include opening on Saturday to give students who live on campus or take Saturday classes one more option.

According to the USF Dining Services Web site, only nine eateries are open on the weekend, including the main dining facilities in Argos and Andros buildings, forcing some students to look elsewhere for food.

“If I didn’t have a car (to get off-campus food), I wouldn’t have eaten that much my first year,” fourth-year marketing major Melody Brown said. “I think it holds USF back, making it more of a commuter school.”

While finding a place to eat may not be the problem, some students claim to have difficulty finding both a healthy and quick option.

“I generally bring something from home if I know it’s going to be a long day on campus,” junior Dana Adkins said. “Anything that’s close to being healthy takes too long to wait for; I have classes I need to get to.”

Mack said that while USF is very involved with the decision-making, Aramark generally knows what will sell to the students.

“We are very concerned with feedback from the students on what type of food to offer,” Mack said. “We have a feedback link on our Web site and also comment cards at the dining halls.”