Can we bring back a real coffee shop to campus?

By Leanne Vastbinder, Opinion and Online Editor

As the Student Government Association announced the future installation of the Jet Fuel station, I couldn’t help but feel slightly reminiscent and sad. I’m excited that they are finally doing something with the empty space in Dugan, but I can’t help but wish that Scooter's Coffee or another actual coffee shop would once again return to campus.

I remember visiting Newman as a prospective student four years ago, being led on a tour around campus, and visiting the Scooter's Coffee shop in Dugan at the end of the tour to get a snack and a cup of coffee. I remember telling my mom that the blended caramel drink I had was fantastic and that I would definitely be going back there to get another one during the semester. And I did.

I went to Scooter’s every week when I needed a pick-me-up or a comfy place to do homework, until Scooter’s wasn’t there anymore. Then they replaced Scooter’s with the Newman Grind, and though it still sold coffee (burnt and watered down) it was a shadow of what used to be when Scooter’s was there. It wasn’t a legitimate coffee shop to begin with, and the Grind eventually closed its doors.

Since then, Newman has been without a coffee shop on campus. Students are without a place where they can grab a coffee, smoothie or snack while feeling the cozy coffee shop vibes.

Part of me gets that maybe its extinction was inevitable. Maybe if more students had bought coffee or other drinks from Scooter’s, they wouldn’t have had to close. But I also definitely feel like students would’ve fought to keep Scooter’s and upped their purchasing if they had known there was a chance they could lose the coffee shop. And Newman could’ve tried to get another legitimate coffee shop chain to replace the Scooter’s after it closed.

Which brings me to my next point: I think we should bring back a legitimate coffee shop, with actual espresso machines and real coffee that doesn’t taste like watered-down grass. Students clearly want coffee, as demonstrated by the empty rows of Starbucks coffee beverages in the Eck vending machines. It doesn’t have to be Scooter’s, but dang, let's bring back something better than the burnt coffee of the Newman Grind or whatever the Jet Refuel station will contain. Maybe we can’t afford a real coffee shop right now due to Newman’s current financial situation and pending lawsuits, but I’m hopeful.

I’m hopeful that years in the future, some new prospective Newman student will tour the school and feel the same excitement I did at discovering a coffee shop on campus, one they can run to whenever they need a Frappuccino or a homey vibe. I hope they get the same chance I did, because it was awesome.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo,