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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Summer students need to eat, too

If you’re looking for a place to grab a snack or get office supplies on the UA campus this summer, you’ll find yourself working a little bit harder to find an open shop.

The UA Dining Services has closed up many UA-ran shops and shortened the hours of the ones that are still open. From the university standpoint, the decision makes sense due to the reduced campus population during the summer, but it does make life as a summer student just a little bit more difficult.

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In many areas of campus, the dining services should keep a few more shops open. Certain parts of the campus still have a lot of foot traffic through them. A good example would be the Park Avenue Market which will be closed down all summer, according to the Arizona Student Union’s online dining guide.

Many of the restaurants on campus currently are the ones inside or near the Student Union Memorial Center. For the UA staff and students working or studying farther from the student union, it can be a bit of a trek to take advantage of those shops and restaurants.

With every shop at the PSU closed for the summer, the UA is missing out on the chance to provide good dining and shopping services across the entire campus. The PSU is in an area near four residence halls and a street away from the East University Boulevard bar scene. Summer students and Tucson natives use the volleyball courts and grass-covered courtyards outside the PSU building to take time off from studies and get exercise all throughout the summer. From my perspective, it would make sense business-wise to keep the Park Avenue Market open for limited hours through the summer.

With the Highland Market and the Park Avenue Market open, students would have opportunities to shop at UA convenience stores across a much greater area of the campus than is currently available.

No offense to the Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robins shop on University, but I’d rather purchase my morning cup of coffee or yerba mate through the UA shops I love. The great part about shopping on the UA campus is supporting the UA and the student employees that work at many of these shops. There is a strong sense of community that comes from the experience of shopping with your fellow Wildcats. The feeling disappears a little when you need to buy your Gatorade from the CVS Pharmacy instead of the Park Avenue Market.

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It may sound a bit whiny, but I see no reason why being on UA campus during the summer can’t be as convenient as it is during the regular school year session. The UA should try to provide as close to the same services as possible during the summer session.

The campus has done a good job of striving for that with many important parts of the campus environment staying in business. The information commons, library and its accompanying Starbucks stay open throughout the summer, which is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of the summer business schedule that couldn’t do without a little improvement.

Follow Scott Felix on Twitter.

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