BiHall Opens New Café Kiosk

The+caf%C3%A9%2C+located+across+from+Armstrong+Library%2C+includes+a+kiosk+selling+coffee+and+small+snacks+with+a+cooler+that+offers+more+substantial+food.+%28Campus%2FEllie+Reinhardt%29

The café, located across from Armstrong Library, includes a kiosk selling coffee and small snacks with a cooler that offers more substantial food. (Campus/Ellie Reinhardt)

By Ellie Reinhardt

Coffee and snacks are now available for the science buffs on campus thanks to the grand opening of a café kiosk in Bicentennial Hall on Monday, March 31.

The installation of the café was prompted after a WetheMiddKids petition received 247 votes and won the attention of the Student Government Association (SGA). “[Chief of Staff] Danny Zhang ’15 discovered that efforts to put a café in BiHall had been begun but were stalled” SGA President Rachel Liddell ’15 said. “We thought that a café in BiHall would be amazing, so we began to pursue it.”

The SGA Senate voted unanimously to support the petition and created a resolution called S.C.I.E.N.C.E (Supporting Cafés In Environments of New Community Enhancement).

The SGA worked with General Manager of Retail Food Operations David Cannistra and Special Assistant to the President David Donahue to bring the petition to life. President of the College Ronald D. Liebowitz approved the movement to go forward with the project about three weeks ago.

Efforts to implement a café in BiHall go as far back as 2006, according to Cannistra. The most recent attempt was last year but the plans were “a little too ambitious for the space” according to him.

Because of past efforts though, the decision to move forward with the café was easy for the administration.

“[The café] seems likes it’s something that’s been needed on campus,” Cannistra said.

The café, located across from Armstrong Library, includes a kiosk of coffee and small snacks with in addition to more substantial food such as sushi from Sushi with Gusto.

“We really just want to get up and going with this so I think it’s just going to stay [a kiosk]” Cannistra said. “[BiHall] is such a beautiful space. They don’t want to do anything to permanently change the place.”

The café will be run in part by student organizations. For their help, the organizations will receive a portion of the profits made while they work. Both GlobeMed and the Track and Field team have already gotten involved with working at the café. Cannistra said that the program will work similarly to that of the Grille’s delivery service, which has been very successful.

According to Co-President of GlobeMed Olivia Wold ’14, the organization received 25 percent of the proceeds made while they worked. She acknowledged that it offers clubs an opportunity to fundraise without all the planning and time commitment that often goes into a fundraising event. “The College does a great job both promoting new ideas for fundraisers, like this one, and also providing guidance when we have our own ideas,” she said.

The café, open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. then 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. On Mondays through Fridays, Liddell speculated, they “will provide sustenance and caffeine to hard-working people. Students and faculty alike have communicated their desire for such a place for some time.”

“The café will allow [students] to relax and have a cup of coffee and enjoy themselves,” Cannista said. “It’s more of a service that we set up for the students than a money making opportunity.”

According to Cannistra, the café has already been a success.

“The first week went very well as we served 584 customers, and it was well received by,faculty, staff and students alike,” he said.

Along with the café in BiHall, the Rehearsals Café in the lower lobby of the Mahaney Center for the Arts re-opened on April 1 for the rest of the spring semester.

“This started because [President Liebowitz] wanted a sense of community … where people could meet and have a cup of coffee and hang out. I think that was the driving factor. [President Liebowitz] was looking for a sense of community, as far as the CFA as well.”