A brewing situation

For overheated students meandering through the War Memorial Student Union in search of shade and air conditioning, Starbucks Cafe has long been a haven for those looking to rest.
With hours that extend well into the evening, the cafe has become a hub for people studying into the early morning hours. But with construction from the additions to the Student Union taking place around the building, the coffee shop has lost all air conditioning and is being kept within operable temperatures by large fans placed inside the building.
“We have encountered issues with the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system that are currently being addressed,” said Director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for Auxiliary Services Robin Rodrigue.
Starbucks’ popularity with the student base has kept it open this long, according to Rodrigue.
“It is a widely used dining concept with high student demand, so we want to continue to provide the products and services provided by the retailer,” said Rodrigue.
While other offices have made the move out of the Student Union, due to certain stipulations, Starbucks would not be able to move.
The cafe held its grand opening on campus in 2009 and has been endeared in the hearts of many students looking for coffee and snacks. However, due to certain stipulations, there are slim chances that Starbucks could possibly relocate to somewhere else on campus.
“Based on the requirements of the franchise concept, relocation would not be feasible,” said Rodrigue.
Many students who depend on Starbucks for their daily caffeine dose are upset by the lack of air conditioning and the route change, but they seem to find the silver lining.
“It’s really inconvenient to get to Starbucks now,” said Caitlin O’Neil, a senior English major who visits the coffee shop every day. “It just sucks to have to wait in line in the heat, but the fans help and as long as I still get my passion tea lemonade, I’m happy.”
Brendan Babin is a junior music education major that orders at Starbucks “at least once a week.” He was less optimistic than O’Neil.
“I’m upset by it,” said Babin. “It’s so inconvenient to walk through the mud or all around the field by D Vick to get here. The service has definitely not diminished, but having no AC is not ok.”
Rodrigue said that the university and ARAMARK are working cooperatively to fix the air conditioning as soon as possible. According to Rodrigue, all options are being exhausted to keep Starbucks’ normal operating hours in tact.

Correction: In the printed version of The Lion’s Roar, Robin Rodrigue was incorrectly identified as the director for Auxiliary Services. The online version has been updated to reflect her correct title as Director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for Auxiliary Services.