We need more on-campus options for a daily cup of Joe

Photo by Elizabeth Cook

I do not know about other Lewis & Clark students, but my favorite time to get a cup of coffee is around 3 p.m., or even better 10 p.m. Good thing that is when Maggie’s Cafe is open.

Just when LC students thought there was nothing left to lose to COVID-19, Campus Living announced in January that the Dovecote would be closed for the entire Spring 2021 semester. And just like that, the possibility of getting a decent cup of coffee at a reasonable hour disappeared from campus. 

Maggie’s does in fact have additional hours this semester to compensate for the Dovecote’s closure: in addition to their afternoon hours, they are now also open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. While I appreciate this effort, I think that it is a poor replacement for the Dovecote. 

For one, these additional hours are nowhere to be found on the Bon Appétit website. I did not even know about these hours until I decided to write this article. But more importantly, where are the late sleepers supposed to get their caffeine? 

The 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., midmorning to early afternoon period is the perfect time to enjoy a nice coffee, and Maggie’s is just not covering it. I drank many delicious hazelnut iced lattes last fall after my noon class got out, and I am personally quite sad that I no longer have that luxury.

Of course, there is coffee at the Bon. This will do in a pinch, like if I feel like I am going to fall asleep in my next Zoom class, but overall it is a bit depressing. I would not expect the Bon to offer lavender or almond flavored lattes, but it seems cruel that they do not even offer milk. Even a simple 2% is nowhere to be found, only creamer. All of this may be disappointing, but what is truly heartbreaking is that the Bon only serves hot coffee, leaving iced coffee lovers such as myself to suffer.

This coffee situation might seem irrelevant, and I recognize that it is certainly not the biggest issue of student life. And there are still plenty of ways to purchase caffeinated drinks, so why does it matter?

Right now, a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the small joys is important. There is not much about current student life that sparks joy. So the cheerful little moments that do, like winning an intramural kickball game, riding the Pio to Fred Meyer during a Friday afternoon or sunbathing on the Platt Lawn with your friends, must be protected. To me, drinking coffee is not so much about a need for caffeine, but a morning ritual, something to look forward to as I get out of bed and roll into another day of social distancing, hybrid classes and all the stresses of the current world. 

Of all the necessary restrictions and changes to campus this year, this one feels like something that could easily have a better solution. For starters, the Bon could offer dairy and non-dairy milk options or iced coffee to spice up the plain black roast they currently offer. Or, Maggie’s could have hours that better fit students schedules. Perhaps Maggie’s could even start selling ingredients to make coffee in dorms, such as cold brew concentrate or flavoring syrup. I would love to see Campus Living explore some of these options in the future. This would most likely be in the school’s best interest. I do not have the numbers but I am sure that students are spending less money on coffee this semester. 

None of this is meant to express any ungratefulness towards the Bon Appétit employees. I am sure I speak for the LC student body when I say that I am thankful to them for being here and providing meals for us, especially during this crazy time. 

Campus Living and the administration, however, are failing in some of their attempts to support students. Coming up with better coffee options on campus is a small way to make a significant difference in the happiness of LC students.

This article presents opinions held by the author, not those of The Pioneer Log, its editorial board or those interviewed for background information

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