Open for business… not so fast

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By Staff Editorial

This photo, taken on Nov. 24, heralds the supposed opening of the new Bradshaw Cafeteria. The completion date has come and gone, but the Cafeteria remains closed. (Joshua Pedroza)

By Staff Editorial

It’s 12 o’clock; do you know where your stomach is? One place it isn’t for sure is the Bradshaw Cafeteria.

For months, Riverside City College students have been told that they would get a brand new Cafeteria in the fall. However, it seems that they will have to wait until the winter or spring semester for the finished product.

For students, this means they will have to continue to improvise where their lunch plans are concerned.

Sure, Carl’s Jr. is within walking distance and the Riverside Plaza offers a lot of choices, but if you’re on a tight schedule you don’t have time for those options.

The only other choices are the snack carts located on campus or the Bookstore.

While the carts offer a lot of options for the casual snack, they don’t provide many lunch choices and the prices can be a little high.

At the Bookstore you may have more choices, but supplies run out quick. So, if you don’t eat lunch by 12:30 p.m. you’ll be stuck with a hard peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Most college students live on strict schedules and fixed incomes so they cannot afford the time or money to go out for lunch every day.

It is common knowledge that most remodeling jobs never finish on time, so when it became apparent that the Cafeteria would not be done by Nov. 24 the college should have come up with a “Plan B” to offer students.

Sure, that Carl’s Jr. truck was here for the first two weeks of class, but what happened after that? Nothing, that’s what. Students were left to fend for themselves.

By the way, the faculty and staff dining hall has been open the entire semester, so, while students have had to make alternate plans, staff has enjoyed uninterrupted service.

It is unacceptable in this day and age that a college the size of RCC does not offer its students a comprehensive meal plan.

There is also the idea that if students are forced to eat fast food every day or skip lunch altogether, it doesn’t make for a very healthy diet.

America is already the fattest country in the world and RCC is just contributing to the epidemic by not offering suitable choices.

Both Food Services and Hinkley Construction have declined to return our repeated efforts to get in touch with them by phone, e-mail and in person about a new opening date.

Judging by the condition of the Cafeteria interior, it won’t be unveiled during the fall semester and the kinks won’t be worked out until well into spring.

According to Ralph Perez, director of Facilities/Operations and Maintenance, everyone is hoping for it to be done before Christmas, but first day of the winter semester is a more realistic goal.

A brand new Cafeteria means new equipment that the staff must be trained to operate, new health inspections and all the problems that arise with any remodeling project.

Considering their track record so far, we doubt the college has taken these obstacles under consideration in its time table.

Don’t get us wrong. We are super excited about the new Cafeteria. Everything we’ve heard sounds extremely promising, but at a certain point rumors and drawings must be replaced by a finished product.

Students cannot be expected to wait patiently on an endless remodel that offers no results. It is time for the college to offer some answers about deadlines or viable choices until a finished product is delivered.

Until that time, all we can do at this point is offer congratulations to the students of the fall 2009 semester on their new Cafeteria. We just hope that it’s worth the wait.

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