Much like any other non-profit public higher-education institution, East Carolina University tries to make money where it can through on-campus dining options but charges a high price for convenience on campus.
As one of the caffeine hubs on East Carolina University’s campus, Starbucks has monopolized the main campus with three locations, all of which charge students astronomical prices for coffee.
Starbucks is known for being a caffeine powerhouse across the globe with its cleverly crafted drinks and well-known assortment of coffee beans. Aside from coffee, Starbucks' reputation for high prices precedes itself.
This coffee empire is just one example of a convenient place on campus with not so convenient prices. Dining options on campus should be more economically affordable for the college demographic if the university hopes to maximize its profits.
Meal plans are the perfect opportunity to receive some bang for your buck to get food and essentials on campus at ease. But those unable to pay the upfront cost of a meal plan are stuck picking and choosing where every last cent goes.
An $8 sandwich is much easier to afford when it can be purchased as a meal or with bucks but can sit at a much higher price for someone without a meal plan.
The price for convenience is evident through the lack of variety in on-campus dining options. Limited dining options would be more enjoyable if the prices weren’t all relatively high across the board. Even as a smart shopper it can be difficult to find inexpensive and fulfilling options from what’s on campus.
With leading industries like Aramark who provide dining resources to more than 400 colleges and universities across the nation, it can be easier said than done to try to change prices and expand options. After the first year of school, some students are tired of eating the same thing every time they’re on campus.
I commend the university in its efforts to open new dining options when it can, like Mama Joyce’s Pizza which opened this fall, but I wish it would expand its outreach to what surrounds the campus.
ECU can benefit from expanding its partnerships with local businesses and vendors to bring more variety to campus. Students may feel more inclined to buy that pricey coffee or food item because they don’t get it on a daily basis.
As a university that prides itself in being a leader in regional transformation, it does little to benefit the businesses in the community which it surrounds. Many restaurants local to Greenville want the college demographics attention as much as the university. Sometimes it’s easier to work alongside each other than against one another.