2008-01-28 • Volume 2 • Issue 4
Many things are changing on the Rice campus. Beyond the new residential colleges, and the new power station, the University has also planned to improve the nightlives of Rice students. No, we are not getting a nightclub (I guess Club Willy is enough?). No, President Leebron, with his infinite wisdom, has deemed it fit to grant us the liberty of obtaining late-night refreshment within the hedges. The Brochstein Pavilion—which will open sometime in the future, perhaps even sooner than the remodeled Rec Center—is due to feature not only late night food, but also coffee. Which is great, because when it’s getting near midnight and I need a cup of coffee, I’ll be able to go there. Well that’s if I’m not at the RMC, where I could get free coffee. And that’s, again, if I’m not in the library where I can spend $1ish to get machine brewed coffee. Well, good thing the Pavilion is between Fondren and Coffee House. Now, I have three options to buy coffee, most hours of the day, and they’re all within a few dozen yards of each other. Wait, what? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
Why would anyone place three coffee vendors in such close proximity, especially on a campus with such rapidly changing geography? With the addition of the two new North Colleges, Rice’s population will be relatively evenly distributed between North and South. Why not stick a coffee machine up there? A walk to the RMC from Martel is like a walk to West Lot from Wiess. It’s far. And it’s just plain stupid not to recognize that. The new pavilion should have been built up there. If not for logic, then at least as a consolation for the years of inconvenience and social stigma associated with being from the North.
And what about all of this caffeine floating around? Let’s say I go to the RMC and get a double espresso. Then I go to Diedrich’s, or Starbucks, or whatever chain is going to move into Brochstein, and get a large coffee. Then I go get a nice vending machine cappuccino from Fourth Floor Fondren. I would have about a gram of caffeine floating in my bloodstream, creating evil psychoactive side effects in my brain and sympathetic nervous system (see cover art). Basically, I would become a caffeine junkie. After spending all my money on coffee, I’d probably resort to begging or prostitution to fund my addiction. Not a happy future at all.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it all seems a little excessive. When I came to Rice—just a year ago—it was a small, happy place. Now it’s growing large, and when those in charge make stupid decisions it seems like we may be expanding a little too fast. We should just keep things simple. The Coffee House is good enough. I can even rationalize a vending machine in the library, even though, for the sake of maintaining a peaceful study environment it probably shouldn’t be there. But to have three coffee vendors so close together? That’s just too much for me.
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