Coffee lovers crave longer hours


Union Coffee

Returning students might notice a change of hours that coffee is available on campus. Due to a shortage in Dining Services employees at the start of the semester, a few locations have scaled back hours.

The hours of coffee locations on campus are dependent on staff availability, said Doug Wermedal, associate vice president of student affairs. As most staff is students, Dining Services is still working on finding students whose schedules match up with all locations on campus.

Dining Services usually handles hiring of new student staff during the first few weeks of class, and hours adjust from there. With more off-campus locations coming to town and hiring students, such as Mixed, Wermedal said competition for student employees can intensify.

According to Wermedal, Dining Services is placing student employees where demand is the highest – places such as The Market, Panda Express, Chick-Fil-A and Extreme Pita.

“SDSU has a long tradition of student employees,” Wermedal said. “We rely on students.”

It takes fewer people to operate Union Coffee than Einstein’s. It takes about three employees to run campus coffee such as Union Coffee or Java City. In Einstein’s, while it takes about three employees for coffee prep, it can take six to eight people to operate the coffee and food service aspect – as it offers a wider menu.

Since there is a larger menu at Einstein’s – they offer food as well as coffee drinks – the location is open longest.

“I get my coffee from Union Coffee and I like it because it is pretty fast, and even though it is busy you don’t have to wait a lot,” said sophomore human development and family science and psychology double major Kanbi Knippling.

Union Coffee, now open until 5:30 p.m., may have the option of staying open later if demand exists, Wermedal said.

“Union Coffee hours are expected to be the most flexible,” Wermedal said.

Currently, locations are in the startup phase now that class is back in session. The eventual configuration will be that Einstein’s will be open until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday – which should happen in the next few weeks once all staff positions have been filled, Wermedal said.

The new Cottonwood Coffee location is waiting on a health inspection for the go-ahead to open, which should happen within the next week, Wermedal said. The hours established at Cottonwood Coffee will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

When Cottonwood opens and Einstein’s hours are extended to 11 p.m., it will offer more late-night options, but one student would like to see longer hours from other coffee shops on campus.

“I get my coffee from the Java City in Wagner, it is better than anywhere else on campus,” said sophomore journalism student Olivia Olson. “They should have longer hours – I always want to go but it is only open until 2 or 3 p.m. during the week.”

Another student who makes use of multiple coffee locations on campus also suggests extended hours.

“I would like to see longer hours for Java City [in Wagner]. Sometimes when I’m walking by Union Coffee I grab it from there if I feel like it,” said sophomore dairy science major Kaelyn Dammann. “I got some coffee today walking by last minute – I didn’t realize [Union Coffee] closes at 5:30 p.m.”

Although junior human development and family science major Melinda Anderson usually makes her own coffee, when she does buy it on campus, she gets it from Java City in Wagner. “I like the specials that they offer each season,” said Melinda Anderson, junior human development and family science.

Although coffee locations are a few hours short of previous years, and are not open as long as The Union, study space is still available.

“When we come to The Union to do homework and the coffee places don’t have hours that match with The Union, it’s annoying, but we don’t have much choice,” Knippling said.

The shortened hours are short-term and low impact, as they do not fall during late semester demands such as midterms or finals, Wermedal said.

“It is like not being able to find parking spaces the first few weeks, a passing inconvenience,” Wermedal said.