The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Campus dining to get summer overhaul on both campuses 

When St. Joe’s students arrive back on campus in fall 2023, they can expect an overhaul of dining service facilities and options, both on Hawk Hill and at University City.

The first of those changes is complete. On March 27, SJU Dining announced a rebranding, and is now known as Hawk Dining Company. 

At UCity, one popular option, the campus Starbucks, will close, the university announced in an email to students April 11. Instead, the UCity POD Market will begin selling La Colombe Coffee next fall. Other announced changes include the addition of a breakfast menu and expanded hours at Freshens Fresh Food Kitchen and an all-you-can-eat-option at the Italian Kitchen in Wilson Dining Hall. 

Noelle Siekmann ’23, former president of the UCity Student Government Association (SGA), said the decision to close the Starbucks is unpopular among the students and faculty who frequented it.

“We’ve always had the Starbucks there,” Siekmann said. “It’s something that a lot of students rely on. I know [for] faculty, that’s the place they always stop by before class.”

On Hawk Hill, the most substantial changes, which were announced March 5 at an Admitted Students Day event, will be made to the Campion Food Court. That space will include a deli called The Spread, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne’s and Jamba Juice.

Because the changes were announced to incoming students rather than current ones, many have not heard about them. But, Alec Mettin ’24, secretary for Student Affairs in the University Student Senate, said he believes the changes will be well received.

“I feel like people are excited, but they’re going to hopefully be more excited once they see what’s actually happening,” Mettin said.

The largest physical renovation will be the addition of a “ghost kitchen” to be shared by all of the new restaurants, along with the current ones, Hawk Wrap, Burgers and Fries, FoodLab and Bento Sushi. Instead of each restaurant having its own dedicated storefront, counter and menu, all of the restaurants will share one large kitchen hidden behind a wall. This kitchen will take up the entirety of the current ordering and food preparation area of Campion Food Court, from the kitchens in the back all the way to the cash registers.

With this new setup, only Moe’s and FoodLab will have physical counters for students to order from.

“They’re going to have Moe’s on one side and they’re going to have the FoodLab on the other,” Mettin said. “And those are going to be the only two front-facing options for students. Everything else is going to go through a mobile app.”

Derek Bray, senior district marketing manager for Aramark, explained that food storage containers will be located between the Moe’s and the FoodLab and will allow for a drop-and-go style of pickup as opposed to the current, traditional style.

“To facilitate a smooth and efficient pick-up model for students, we will be incorporating innovative ‘food lockers’ for students to use in conjunction with our mobile ordering platform, Transact,” Bray wrote in response to written questions from The Hawk. “These lockers will allow students to place their orders in advance via Transact, scan a unique code on the locker interface and pick up their food from their order-assigned locker.”

Similar technology will be used across campus to provide warm meals in vending machine-like structures called Vicki Boxes.

The other major change announced during Admitted Students Day in March is the addition of True Balance to Campion Dining Hall, a new station that features foods cooked in a kitchen free from the nine major allergens. 

This new location will be built in a corner separate from the rest of the kitchens, where the cereal bar and emergency exit are currently located.   

The main reason for adding this new location was to ensure that all students could benefit from their dining plans, according to Grace Heller ’26, dining chair of Student Senate. 

“I think True Balance is really going to bring things up a level,” Heller said. “So just providing those things for people with dietary restrictions, with allergies, that is the motivation.” 

In addition to the new station, there will also be furniture and cosmetic changes throughout Campion Dining Hall.

“They’re going to get new tables, new chairs and everything to get rid of the cafeteria style long tables we have in there right now and replace it with some smaller seating options,” Mettin said.

The last set of major renovations will occur in the Post Learning Commons (PLC) POD Market, which will be changed to a workerless, 24/7 location called Quick Eats.

A set of doors leading directly from outside of the library to the store will be added to PLC, and students will swipe their ID card in order to enter.

Each shelf of the store will be equipped with sensors that will detect when an item is taken, and all of the collected items will be automatically charged to the student’s card.

Construction is slated to begin in mid-May, according to Mettin.

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Vincent Kornacki
Vincent Kornacki, News Editor
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