Food has always been a point of contention between TCU students and the administration. The quality of the food, the variety, the cost, the nutrition– – all have been argued about countless times, fortunately without any bloodshed.
But I’m not going to waste my time ranting about TCU dining. That’s been done. What I am fighting for may seem insignificant to the majority of the university, but it is something that needs to be addressed.
A Sept. 25 Skiff article reported that Pond Street Grill might close soon. Legia Abato, district marketing manager for Dining Services, said, “Pond Street has gotten a hard hit. We are trying to figure out what to do with Pond Street.”
In the same article, Ernest White, a supervisor at Pond Street, said, “It’s up to the school on what they want to do. I’d really hate to see it go. It’s a good place.”
This is not the first time on-campus dining has faced the chopping block, and I don’t want to see another good place go.
Popular eateries removed in the past two years were Far East Fusion, Eden’s, Mongolian Wok and Deco Deli. Of the older eateries, only Pond Street, Sub Connection, NRG and Bistro Burnett remain. But who knows how long that will last? At the rate TCU closes dining facilities, students will only be able to get on-campus meals at Market Square since it uses swipes instead of Frog Bucks.
The article also reported that students preferred eating at Market Square or spending their Frog Bucks off campus. Although Sub Connection and Pond Street have tasty food, they can’t stand up against Which Wich or Red Cactus. Students would rather have cheaper, tastier meals on University Drive and Berry Street.
In Pond Street’s defense, it has a wide variety of food that changes each semester. It has the staples — hamburgers, steak and pizza that can come with any number of sides – and healthier options such as salads, sushi and grilled chicken. It also has daily specials so one can eat something different every day, and it has takeout boxes. The other restaurants that accept Frog Bucks lack such variety and offer less healthy items.
My reasons for keeping Pond Street and Sub Connection stem from personal experience and my concern for the future of TCU. I lived in Worth Hills for two years and frequently ate Pond Street’s salads and grilled salmon.
It was convenient, the food was tasty and it was open late for students craving waffle fries for midnight studies. Sub Connection, tucked away in the first floor of Smith Hall, provided my Monday dinners when I had meetings in Dan Rogers Hall.
Even though I no longer live in Worth Hills, I understand what it’s like to want good food and not have to venture far to find it. If Pond Street closes, the students living in Worth Hills will have to get meals elsewhere. The other places they can eat on campus aren’t nearby. It’s the same way for Sub Connection on East Campus.
Brittany Walker, a sophomore marketing major, said she liked the convenience of Sub Connection when she had classes in Smith Hall.
“When you really need something to eat, it’s not really handy having only one place on campus to eat that’s on your meal plan that’s on the other side of campus,” Walker said.
TCU should promote on-campus dining besides Market Square. Pond Street and Sub Connection should lower prices, revamp their menus or hold sports or movie events to bring in customers.
A big concern specifically with Pond Street is its hours. In previous years, it served breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. Now, it’s only open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. If it served the lunch or late-night menus again, it could see an increase in customers.
Junior fashion merchandising major Katy Moloney, who used to live in Wiggins Hall, said she prefers the food at Pond Street to other on-campus eateries, but never goes there because she lives on Main Campus. She said she would eat at Pond Street if it were closer.
“I think that if they moved Pond Street Grill on Main Campus that’d be wonderful because they have better variety, and I feel that it’s healthier,” Moloney said. “So I think that if everyone could benefit from having [Pond Street], then that would be better than just having it in the Greek section.”
Amid the never-ending dining controversies, I hope students and the administration realize that saving Pond Street and Sub Connection is the right way to go. Change isn’t always better. Even if it means extra work, preserving what’s good and what benefits students makes it all worth it.
Alyssa Dizon is a senior broadcast journalism major from Aiea, Hawaii.