A new dining establishment, Avenue C, has finally opened in the Newman Vertical Campus. Despite the anticipation spurred by preceding advertisements and signs, Avenue C completely disappoints and falls short of its hype.
While a new dining establishment is definitely in order for students and faculty members of Baruch College, Avenue C fails to stand out in the most basic ways.
It encourages unhealthy behaviors, such as consuming processed foods that need to be microwaved. The previous dining area, on the other hand, had real chefs who prepared healthy food that rivaled homemade meals.
To replace healthier meals with snacks in a refrigerated machine is to prioritize speed over health and build disengagement among students and faculty members. Avenue C prompts customers to just grab what they want and go, removing the human interaction that is usually needed to place an order or pay for it.
The food and beverage options available at Avenue C are also dull and lack variety. The refrigerators simply play host to microwavable goods and processed snacks while the previous dining area had a selection of fresh fruits, soups and vegetables. Students also had the opportunity to assemble their own salads at the salad bar, but this feature has been completely dismantled with the arrival of Avenue C.
The most frustrating issue with Avenue C is its lack of options for students who adhere to certain diets like gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher or halal options. Rather than accommodate the needs of every type of student, it seems as though Avenue C is simply catering to the typical college student, which, at any CUNY, does not exist.
Avenue C also closes as early as 7:00 p.m., as if its human employees, who are seldom there, need to go home. If the system is meant to run like an automated checkout, then it should be open until school closes. Students who stay after school in order to host events or attend late classes should be able to use the services of the dining area too.
Avenue C, which functions as a grocery store that specifically targets college students on the go, may be preferable to some people who are extraordinarily busy. However, it limits human interaction and downsizes on available options.
Perhaps the worst change that came along with the addition of Avenue C is the fact that the student employees who relied on their jobs in the previous dining area have now been let go in favor of technology. Only two people remain to help with troubleshooting, and it seems as though these two are not even present most of the time.