Law School students vie

by Kelly Hildebrandt

When the Riverbend Cafeteria was still open, Jennifer Dailey, a second-year law student, ate there about four times a week.
But since its closing at the end of winter quarter 1998, Dailey said she usually brings her food from home and arranges her schedule so she isn’t at the Law School as much.
“It cut down the opportunity for people to form communities and get together,” Dailey said.
Now that the Riverbend is closed, the only source of food in the Law School is a small cart which offers coffee, sandwiches, yogurt and fruit in the basement of the school. However, the Law Cart is only open from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and sells food provided by Aramark Corp., which recently got overwhelmingly negative reviews from a staff and faculty survey of food quality and prices.
“It gives us some character,” Dailey said about the cart. Although she doesn’t buy food from it because the food isn’t very good, she said the staff is friendly.
But with more than 1,000 people walking through the Law School every day, one coffee cart might not be enough, said Law School Dean Thomas Sullivan, adding he has heard from students that the cart empties out by about 1 p.m.
Before the Riverbend closed, many law students would use the cafeteria to eat and study. But when construction on the new archives building began last year, the cafeteria couldn’t stay open, said John Walker, contract administrator for dining services.
“It wouldn’t be a good area to be eating in,” Walker said about the cafeteria, which health inspectors determined wasn’t appropriate to dine in while construction was underway.
In order to accommodate students, the Law Cart was expanded to sell students food, said Doug Hubbard, district manager for University Dining Services.
“It’s not so bad but it would be nice if there were something a little closer,” said Nick Boebel, a second- year law student, who walks to the Carlson School of Management cafeteria to eat now that the Riverbend Cafeteria is closed.
Roshan Rajkumar, president of the Law Council, said the coffee cart food is bad and prices are high.
“When you get a contract like that you expect a high quality of food,” Rajkumar said of the year-old Aramark contract, which University officials signed to alleviate the $1.6 million debt the University Dining Services incurred. In the past year, Aramark Corp. has turned a $2 million profit.
Walker said dining services made recommendations to the Law School administration on where a possible cafeteria could be opened, but the Law School couldn’t spare the space. They recommended putting a cafeteria in Auerbach lounge where students now study, or adding a coffee shop to the bookstore, which will close in March.
“It’s about what we can do to provide some space although it is limited,” Hubbard said.
Until the Law School addition is finished, the coffee cart is the only food available in the Law Building. The Law School addition is slated to begin the fall of 1999 or beginning of 2000, Sullivan said.
“In the new addition we are going to create that space and provide that service,” Sullivan said.
In an effort to give law students more dining options, the Law Council approached several restaurants in the Seven Corners area for a possible law student discount.
Rajkumar said the only restaurant interested was Up North, which has since closed down. Most restaurants refused the offer because if they give law students a discount, all students would want a discount.