New Additions to Cafeteria Provide Ease to Rough Budget

Paul Dewey

At the beginning of the 2009 fall semester, Mesa College students were treated to an unexpected addition to their cafeteria.
Not only is part of the building sectioned off into a brand new room entirely, one that sells cool beverages to students, but the former check out lines that were in the cafeteria before have been removed completely.
In midst of these developments, some students are asking how the college can afford construction on their cafeteria when they are cutting classes left and right. In these times of budgetary troubles for the school, where is the money coming from and why is it going to other areas of the school than education?
Mesa College President, Dr. Rita Cepeda has a straight forward response to this claim. “Costs associated with the renovation were not part of the instructional delivery budget allocated to Mesa College and as such had no impact on available resources for the provisions of courses and direct student support services,” said president Cepeda.
Based on this, any possible expansion set forth by Mesa is part of a different section of the budget, which does not affect the number of classes available to students or the fee increase per unit.
In addition to coming from a different section of the school’s budget, the new developments will be more financially beneficial to the school in the long run. Opening a new section of the cafeteria that specifically focuses on selling energy drinks, sodas, and water as well as snacks to the student body brings in a new source of revenue for the school. The profits seen from this new development to the cafeteria will one day be used to provide more updates around campus for students. Given the success of this new ‘store’, one day students might see the money used on better vending machines or other areas of the campus that appear to be lacking.
Inside the cafeteria itself, the prior buffet style of grabbing one’s food and then bringing it to a register to pay is no longer in effect. “The ultimate streamlining of ‘grab and go’ food services resulted in a savings to the overall budget simply because it decreased the cost of ‘labor intensive’,” Dr. Cepeda states.
While the changes to the cafeteria appear to counteract with the budgetary problems going on at the moment, in reality they are in fact a counter attack to the financial difficulties. With a slow but steady start, this process to improve the situation for students at Mesa College will hopefully be a success.