By Pamela Cobbs
Walking into the small White Plains campus of Mercy College, students will notice colorful signs everywhere reading in bold print, “Petition to Re-open the Cafeteria” with arrows pointing to the empty café that has been closed down for years.
In the café, there is a list of names of Mercy’s students who would like to see the café re-open.
Miracle Truss, a sophomore, is one of them.
“I’ve been here two years and the café has been closed the whole time,” says Truss, who has started the petition.
The café has been closed for about three years now mainly due to the number of students attending White Plains. Since there are fewer students who attend the White Plains campus compared to Dobbs Ferry or the Bronx, Mercy officials say the café at White Plains saw little activity resulting in low food sales. Local food chains in the area might have played a role as well, giving the campus café major competition. As a result, the campus decided to shut its cafeteria’s doors leaving the students without a place to get food on campus.
” Sometimes I pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or sometimes I go out and get pizza,” says Jeffrey Jones, a freshman at Mercy. “It would be nice if I could have an option to eat here though.”
Going off campus to purchase food is not always an option for Truss.
“When I am in class and get a break, by the time I leave campus to get food, I am late for class. It is not always fun leaving campus to buy food, especially in bad weather conditions.”
Not having a café on campus not only means no food; it also means there is really no place for the students to hang out in between classes.
Robyn Chisholm, a sophomore, said, ” Re-opening the café will give students something to do in between their classes; that way they do not have to leave campus just to kill time.”
Truss started this petition in hopes that enough students will sign it, convincing Mercy College to re-think its decision.
“The petition picked up quicker than I thought it would,” says Truss. “I wanted slowly start out and get about 200 students to sign the petition, especially since fewer students attend this campus.”
Students are hoping that there is a vendor willing to work with Mercy and start serving food in the café for a reasonable price.
“If prices are reasonable and healthy, then I am all for the café re-opening,” says Jones.
There are many students at the White Plains campus who want to see their café open again. Truss is hopeful that there are enough names on the petition so that campus management will decide to re-open.
“It may not be open for the rest of this semester, but maybe we can work on it over the summer and have it open for next semester.”