Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Students dining at Essie Mae’s this semester might have noticed some changed rules, most notably that they are not allowed to have backpacks or consume any food inside the service area. This is just one of the many changes that Dining Services has made to Essie Mae’s, Kohlberg Coffee Bar, and the Science Center snack bar.
The “no backpack” and “no eating inside” policies have actually been around for years, but are being strongly enforced this year. According to Dining Services’ Scott Tutton, theft has been a large problem over the years, with students either slipping items into pockets or backpacks, or simply eating items in line and not paying for them. “We’re trying to address the issue head-on and prevent it as best we can,” he said, “I’d much prefer that than having to raise prices to compensate for it. For the most part, the students have been very cooperative and pleasant about the new policies, and we really appreciate that!”
There is some good news for those tired of waiting outside Essie Mae’s on the weekend: Essie Mae’s now opens and accepts meal equivalency at 6:30 on Saturday and Sunday rather than at 7:00. The 7:00 p.m. opening still remains for weeknights.
Students may also have heard of the new “lottery” being run by Dining Services. For each purchase made at Essie Mae’s, Kohlberg Coffee Bar, or the Science Center snack bar, using either cash or meal equivalency, you are entered into a drawing to win your money back. According to Tutton, “The new contests and specials are simply for fun, and a small “thank you” to the students. And we’ve only just begun! More specials and contests will be coming all year!”
There have also been many smaller, less noticeable changes made regarding all three facilities. The email addresses “snack” and “coffee” have been created for comments, bagel toasters have been added to both the snack and coffee bar, and the $0.35 charge for the plastic “to-go” containers has been eliminated. Furthermore, numerous products have been added, including ice cream bars, applesauce, Olde Philadelphia sodas, and half gallons of iced tea.