Food for thought: Runner Café offers more than students expected

Jorge Avila

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Opinions Writer 

The Runner Café has been a topic of discussion amongst students since the dramatic shift from open food court to buffet. The buffet is meant to provide a greater incentive for students to purchase the meal plan most often held by those living on campus. 

Whether all students appreciate the change, however, is still up for debate.  

Eduardo Figueroa, a mealpass holder and junior majoring in criminal justice, said,“The quality of the food is inconsistent, varying from day to day,” but then goes on to say it is still well worth the price due to the unlimited access upon entry.  

Despite his overall satisfaction, Figueroa stated he would have preferred the cafeteria remain an open food court like it used to be simply because the environment was livelier.  

In comparison, other students appear to be more satisfied with the cafeteria’s new format.

Political science major Nessa Mahai, has attended and lived on-campus at CSUB for the past three years, so she has been well acquainted with the cafeteria both before and after the change. 

She agrees that the food is not always of the highest quality, but that she still prefers the cafeteria as a buffet because of the wide array of options available, ranging from pizza to salads.  

Although students seem to agree the quality of the food could be improved, the fact that it is all unlimited for the price of $10.39 makes it well worth the entry, especially for holders of the food pass card.  

The buffet is a boon for not only cardholders, but also students living on campus as it provides the greatest variation of choices out of any food source available on the university.  

One major concern after the cafeteria’s shift to a buffet style format was the idea that no one would even go to the buffet considering its entry price is expensive. 

According to Sylvia Contrera, a Runner Café staff member, the buffet experiences several rush hours throughout the day, especially from noon to 1:30 p.m., with Wednesdays being busy from opening to closing.  

Contrera states, “There is always a decent handful of students present at the buffet and most, if not all, leave satisfied.”  

Contrary to popular belief, the buffet is doing quite well, judging by Contrera’s statement, and although many miss the open access of the Café, the unlimited access to various foods makes the entry fee well worth the price. 

Most agree the food could be improved, but with an open salad bar, grill, sandwich shop, and alternating meals between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’re bound to find something to like at CSUB’s Runner Café.