[Opinion] C-Store Woes
The Bears Pantry, more commonly known as the C-store, can be a great resource for students. However, it would seem that it is not living up to its potential in the eyes of many of its regular users.
By: Craig Bergquist
“On the weekends, it can be a lifesaver. But, what they really need to do is upgrade the food quality. The salads and wraps are always old,” Taylor Murph, a freshman from Ketchikan said.
It is widely known that there is a large mark up on the items in both the Cafeteria and in the C-store.
It is often easy to overlook the prices because the cards are swiped, and we don't even have to look at the numbers. A Red Baron Panini from the C-store costs 6.95. $7 for a frozen sandwich, Fred Meyers competes with this price at $4.89 for the same product.
Kendra Swearingen a freshman education major from Anchorage feels very strongly about the C-store. “I just really think its stupid that anything that is remotely healthy in there is always wilted or rotten. I know that this is Juneau, and it is not easy to get things fresh, but they manage to do it in the Cafeteria. What they do have is full of preservatives. They should have juices that aren't full of high fructose corn syrup and have more natural choices,” Swearingen said.
Why should the students have a say? For starters, the C-store is one of three locations where dining dollars, which are mandatory for students living on-campus, can be used as currency in the store.
“We have our dining dollars that we have to spend. The least they can do is carry things that more people will want, like real milk, and nuts. The food seems to go straight from rock hard to rotten. Additionally, they are right next to the Laundromat, and detergent would be very convenient,” Swearingen stated.
Swearingen lives in Banfield and must spend the dining dollars on her card before the end of the semester. Dining dollars do not carry over to the next semester of school.
“It is easy for us not to pay attention to the 1300 meal plan because the prices are so high. I have trouble spending it as it is, but if the prices were reasonable the meal plan could be lower,” Swearingen said.
Additionally, food services has gotten into the habit of recycling food from the Mourant Cafeteria and selling it at the C-store. It is common sense that as food ages, it should be discounted.
However, the meals that are offered in the C-store stay at the same price up to three days after it was originally cooked. The same can be said for the wraps, while made fresh in the Cafeteria are left to age on the shelves of the C-store.
Allison Boyd, an elementary education major from Anchorage, Alaska agrees with Murph. “What they have there now is all bad for you. The selection needs to be redone and needs to be healthier.”
Many students do not have access to a car to go get groceries with or do not want to invest the hours that would be required to take the round-trip on the bus to Safeway or Fred Meyers. Aside from DeHarts, this makes the C-store their primary source of grocery-type food on the weekends.
The student body has many suggestions for improving the C-store. To make it a resource for the students, the school should listen.