ASG, students offer mixed views on new Subway in Norris
September 1, 2013
An Associated Student Government leader says her committee was not consulted about bringing Subway to Norris University Center, a move that has led to mixed reactions over the summer.
Following the announcement earlier this month that Subway would replace Big Ten Cafe, nuSushi and Windy City Deli in Willie's Food Court, students called on ASG to cancel the plan on the online forum Campus Voice.
Anna Kottenstette, student life vice president, said Tuesday that ASG was unable to collect student feedback on a Subway location in Norris because her committee was not told about the change until contracts had already been signed.
"The reaction has been a little mixed," the rising Communication senior said. "This is a decision we would have appreciated a voice in."
Norris executive director Kelly Schaefer said Wednesday that the Subway plans addressed student feedback received through surveys and comment cards.
"Student groups, Student Affairs, and nuCuisine survey NU often to determine how we can best serve students," she said in an email to The Daily. "Subway was chosen because it will provide a variety of healthy affordable options from a trusted brand."
Despite those surveys, students have taken to social media and Campus Voice to oppose the Subway. The forum post drew more activity compared to other summer submissions, with more than 50 students liking the post and only five voting it down.
ASG executive vice president Alex Van Atta responded to the Campus Voice post Tuesday, writing on the website that it was too late for ASG to intervene in the decision.
"An alternative to canceling the plans would be to 'vote with your feet,' and not use Subway," the rising McCormick senior said. "If the business doesn't fare well in Norris, it won't come back."
Many students wrote the decision will lead to less variety in Norris, especially after Frontera Fresco replaced other dining options when it opened last year.
Rising SESP junior Tara McManus said she eats in Norris twice a week and is disappointed with the changes. The Norris Subway will be the sandwich shop's 11th location in Evanston.
"Evanston is already oversaturated with Subways," McManus said.
Eddie Skidmore, Sodexo area marketing coordinator, said Aug. 23 that the Subway in Norris stands out from the chain's 10 other locations in Evanston because it will accept meals plans, WildCat Points and Munch Money.
But rising McCormick junior Al Johri said students do not like to walk off campus to frequent the other Subways in Evanston. Johri said he is excited about having the option, especially if he can use his meal plan there.
"It's a huge difference," he said.
Kottenstette said the University decided to bring the chain to Norris to offer students more branded options. She said Windy City Cafe and Big Ten Deli options will still be available at Subway and the salad bar. Packaged sushi will remain in the C-stores.
Patrick Svitek contributed reporting.
Assistant summer editor Cat Zakrzewski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cat_Zakrzewski.