Hey UCI: I’m Old, I’m Hungry And I Need a Place to Sit!
It’s time for me to complain about something again. Don’t get me wrong. Nagging isn’t something I enjoy. But UC Irvine, you make it too easy.
With the administration’s grand efforts to create a grand Student Center for our future Anteaters, they have been forced to consolidate the amenities it once offered into portables or existing establishments, with what seems to be a shove-it-in-and-make-it-fit mentality. UCI Campus Flowers now sits awkwardly at the former side door of the campus bookstore, UC Items has been moved into a portable along Pereira Drive and Clone Copies is hidden away in the Administration Building.
Today’s Anteaters have no place on campus to congregate and, as a result, Ring Road between the Social Sciences and the Humanities bridge is clogged at noontime by groups who have nowhere to sit while they eat a Lee’s sandwich or In-N-Out burger. After all, there is no food court, so it’s either that or one of the small campus eateries, which cannot logically accommodate 24,986 hungry, displaced students all on their own.
Perhaps to compensate for the absence of a food court, UCI has also provided food carts that provide ‘Asian’ and ‘Mexican’ cuisine that is so tasteless, most people would rather go hungry. If I wanted to eat what resembles freeze-dried beef, I’d join NASA, thank you very much.
This lack of effort for current students makes for an unfriendly atmosphere, in my eyes. UCI is enough of a commuter school as it is, but these temporary arrangements make it even less appealing to spend time on campus outside of classes.
Worst of all, my beloved Zot ‘n’ Go, with its friendly attendants and affordable, tasty coffee, is gone, not forever, but for my forever (I’m graduating in June). What especially irritates me, however, is their excuse for a replacement: C3.
Located between the Social Sciences Lecture hall and Social Sciences Plaza A, C3 is fairly small and offers coffee, candy, juice and muffins. I happened to stop there before my 9:30 a.m. class one Tuesday morning with French vanilla on my mind. What I experienced was decidedly less pleasant.
A lone, harried employee alternated between trying to make new pots of coffee, as there wasn’t much left, and helping a long line of morning customers, most of them annoyed at being deprived of their morning fix. When it was my turn to pay, I asked the friendly-yet-flustered woman if she was OK.
With a sigh, she replied, ‘It would be better for their business if they hired some more help.’
As I walked to class, sipping my half-cup of cold decaf, I considered the discontent among the students and faculty resulting from the reconstruction, in addition to the unhappy, overworked employees, and hoped that the ultimate benefits of future Anteaters would make it all worthwhile. When I first learned of the reconstruction, I wrote an article on how it would negatively affect commuter students like myself. But I was off the mark in thinking that it would only be unpleasant