The Marketplace at HSU Photo credit: Curran C. Daly

Convenience costs

You spend $12,000,000 on food a year HSU

By | Curran Daly

Getting food on campus is convenient for students, yet comes with an additional price. Humboldt State Dining food is more expensive than food bought at Safeway in Arcata and WinCo in Eureka.

Chris Bautista has been at Humboldt State for three years and eats on-campus for the convenience.

“Some things are expensive, but some things are not,” said Bautista, while holding a three dollar cupcake. “Eating here is more convenient so I just eat here.”

Graphic by Curran C. Daly

Humboldt State is far from the cheapest option for food in the area. When compared to Winco and Safeway, Humboldt State is almost always the most expensive option for many quick grab options for food.

Humboldt’s beloved Yerba Mate teas are $3.39 on campus when paying cash versus $2.22 at Winco and $2.49 at Safeway.

Director of Dining Services, Ron Rudebock, wants students to know that due to Humboldt’s small size compared to national chains the price we pay for food is higher.

“Safeway and Winco beat our prices,” said Rudebock. “At Winco, sometimes, we can find things for sale at a cheaper price than we can buy them wholesale.”

Humboldt might not be able to beat all the prices of other local retailers, but the money spent at HSU stays at HSU. Rudebock also wants students to understand all the places that their money goes after they spend it at an on-campus location.

“Food sold on campus helps pay for operating costs of the UC Center,” said Rudebock. “Money spent here on campus stays on campus.”

According to the 2016-2017 Fiscal Budget for the University Center, Dining’s annual intake from food sales of more than 12 million dollars accounts for 74.8 percent of total revenue for the University Center. Despite the large in-take, Dining’s gross profit is only around $700,000 after paying for food cost, employees, and other operating costs.

While Dining contributes the most amount of money to the University Center’s revenue, it also must pay its many student employees who make up the majority of HSU Dining’s staff.

“We only have 28 full-time employees between our various locations,” said Rudebock. “Without student employees, we couldn’t operate.”

The excess money from the Dining’s revenue goes towards keeping prices down across campus for other University Center organizations such as Center Arts, Center Activities, and the Student Rec Center.

Ameer Abdullah, a transfer Recreation Major, believes that keeping food affordable is key when serving the college community.

“It’s college it should always be affordable,” said Abdullah. “The food should be better if we are paying so much for it.”


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