CC campaign brings student-run late night service to Eco Café

On Sunday, College Council (CC) began a new initiative to open Eco Café in the evenings as a student-run snack bar. The café’s night service came to fruition as a part of CC’s Great Ideas campaign.
“The inspiration came from students who approached CC,” CC Co-President Nick Fogel ’12 said. Fogel and CC Co-President Francesca Barrett ’12 met with Bob Volpi, director of Dining Services, and Chris Abayasinghe, assistant director of student dining, prior to CC elections to discuss a plan to use Eco Café for additional hours.
Until April 28, Eco Café will be open Sunday to Thursday from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. CC representatives, working free of charge, will operate the café at night for its three week trial period.
“Since CC members are working Eco Café, we’re hoping that students will get to know who we are and reach out to us,” Barrett said.
Currently, students can pay for the café’s services using EphPoints, cash or credit cards. The café serves traditional Eco Café treats, which include tea breads, bagels, coffee and tea.
Students may not use their equivalency points for night service because of the low cost of items. CC concluded that most students would not use the entire $7 allotment that is designated through equivalency points, and thus linking Eco Café’s night service with meal points would be inefficient. CC is responsible for funding any debt that the trial period amasses with Great Idea campaign funds.
After the trial period concludes, CC will evaluate the project’s success with Dining Services in order to determine if the project is financially viable. The operational costs for the service are expected to be between $400-600, according to Fogel and Barrett.
“We’re hoping there is a large enough demand to continue it,” Barrett said.
During its first night of operation, Eco Café served between 50 to 60 students and earned $72. “We are very happy about the turnout,” Fogel said.
If the project is extended beyond the trial period, it will create an additional 40 hours of student jobs each week to run the operation. For each night, two students would be responsible for operating the café at any given time.
Extending Eco Café’s hours “falls under the goal of bringing the community together; this provides students with an opportunity to chat and get people together,” Fogel said. “It is something that was lacking in Schow, and a lot of students study there.”
“For kids who study in Sawyer, they have Paresky as a place to hang out and get food,” Barrett added. “For the science students that mostly study in Schow, it makes sense that they should have access to a similar space too.”
Going forward, the CC co-presidents said that they hope to continue plans to bring together the College community. “We’re really excited about it,” Fogel said. “We hope Eco Café is as effective and turns out to be as great of an idea as we think it is.”

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *