SU augments NKU

Northern has finally become a true university – we have a real Starbucks.

Yes, with the addition of the new Student Union (SU), Northern Kentucky University has become a real college.

Gone are our days of pretending to be a university. Before, we had a caf’eacute; that brewed Starbucks coffee, but wasn’t an actual franchise. While it still concocted delectable drinks, there’s something nice about being able to order a triple-shot non-fat venti macchiato, hold the caramel, with room on top for whole milk and sugar at a Starbucks caf’eacute; in the SU.

There’s something else nice about that Starbucks – no line at lunchtime, unlike the rest of the restaraunts in the Student Union.

During the past two days, I’ve walked in around noon, and students have been packed in it like anchovies. Every restaurant has an enormous queue as the staff gets acquainted with the new systems and students get acquainted with the cornucopia of offerings.

Certainly, it’s pleasing to see so many students congregating and using the building that we forked over $37 million to build. But, I also don’t want to wait so long that I could run up to Wendy’s on U.S. 27 and back and still beat someone waiting in line.

Instead, I have an idea. Why not expand the offerings of food by transforming the old cafeterias in the University Center?

A cafeteria set-up is already there, and would only expand the bountiful number of options students now have in the SU.

It would also take some pressure off of the restaurants in the SU.

Right now, according to university spokesman Chris Cole, NKU isn’t sure what it will do with the space, except that it won’t be a cafeteria.

“Those general areas won’t be food service areas anymore,” he said.

I’d ask university officials to reconsider. Yes, I love the options now available in the SU. It’s an amazing building, and I’m enamoured with the Sushi bar.

But, I know that a new cafeteria would only add to the flavor. I’m sure that, while students love the choices offered, eventually they’ll crave other foods. Chili, for example, would be a welcome addition, or perhaps another college stereotype, a pita-bread restaurant.

Nevertheless, I’ll understand if they can’t devote the entire space to new restaurants. But offering students more choices will also help NKU look more attractive to prospective students, as over the course of a semester, one can eat California rolls only so many times.

It would also give students another place to hang around on campus and get to know each other.

NKU has come a long way since its founding. It’s grown a lot, but there are still things that university planners could place to attract more students.

Perhaps, even another Starbucks.