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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

This campus has a loneliness problem. Upping its food and coffee game might fix that

Author+Helen+Harlan+in+New+York+City+in+2004+outside+the+real+exterior+used+in+the+sitcom+Seinfeld.%E2%80%9D+CRC+needs+more+opportunities+for+students+to+gather+and+connect+over+food+and+coffee%2C+much+the+characters+did+on+Seinfeld.
Susan Harlan
Author Helen Harlan in New York City in 2004 outside the real exterior used in the sitcom “Seinfeld.” CRC needs more opportunities for students to gather and connect over food and coffee, much the characters did on “Seinfeld.”

I’m sure you’ve noticed that this campus has a problem. It’s the same one facing many college students today: The loneliness and isolation crisis.

I see it when I cover campus events and there’s low student turnout. I see it in students sitting alone on their phones and in students sitting in groups on their phones. I see it in article after article, like this one from CalMatters.

I’m not here to place blame for this or go into why it’s happening. We all know why. It starts with a “C” and ends with a “19”.

But I’ve noticed that CRC has a more troubling, urgent and solvable problem: The lack-of-food-or-coffee-on-campus-crisis.

There’s no consistent or central food or coffee spot here besides that dinky coffee machine outside the radio lab on the ground floor of the library or the grab-and-go vending machines full of, well, junk.

Again, I’m not here to place blame for this or go into why it’s happening. I work at a bar. I get how hard it might be to staff up our cafeteria and coffee shop right now. But we need to do it.

Both these crises go hand in hand if the campus upped its food and coffee game, it would go a long way to solve both of these problems. Here’s why:

Students show up in greater numbers to events when food is offered. Pizza. Taco trucks. Coffee and donuts. It works. Come for the carne asada, stay for the mental health fair. Everyone wins.

This campus wants the food and coffee game upped. On Monday I went around and talked to over seventy students, staff and faculty. Most said they want to see the cafeteria open before the coffee shop. Some wise souls said they want to see both open their doors.

I agree with those wise souls. Because I am one.

I am older than the average Hawk. I am here to gain skills for a later-in-life, post-pandemic career in journalism. I am not here, necessarily, to make friends. But I see that most students are. You want to joke, flirt and catch up. And you have a lot of catching up to do. We all do. We need a campus with both food and coffee to do that for you.

I’ve worked in bars and restaurants as a server and bartender for a minute now. Since high school, actually. I know how important it is for a community to eat and drink together. You all connect over a nice meal, I get paid to help provide you with that experience. Again, everyone wins.

I am also a child of the Nineties. Without the mall food court, coffee shops or “Seinfeld”, a show all about people that get together over food and coffee to joke, flirt and catch up, my youth would have been nothing. Much like the premise of “Seinfeld”. Funny how that works.

You students need youth. You need to gather and you shouldn’t be lonely.

And I have a tentative solution to this problem: If the coffee shop and cafeteria can’t open up soon, we need a Food and Coffee Truck Czar. If anyone wants to chat with me over the next two weeks about how we crown this Czar, I am open.

We can meet up at that dinky coffee machine outside the radio lab on the ground floor of the library for a cup of joe. It’s all we got for coffee.

For now…

 

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About the Contributor
Helen Harlan, News Editor
Helen Harlan is a News Editor for the Connection newspaper. She joined the Connection to see and hear how people feel about the world around them, and her goal is to build her portfolio as a journalist. She has an affinity for animals, conservationism and the classic sitcom Seinfeld.

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