Campus garners new grooves for fall semester


Photos by Claire Borczuch/ The Record

Tech Cafe has replaced Choc-o-Latte in the tech building and Zatar replaced an ice cream vendor in the food court.

Chance Morrow, Staff Writer

The fall semester is well underway at SUNY Buffalo State. Each year, the college implements new services to improve the experiences of new and returning students. This year is no different.

Transportation on campus and around Buffalo is easier than ever this semester. Lisa Krieger, assistant vice president for Finance and Management, was a liaison to the Buffalo CarShare program, which lasted from spring of 2013 to the summer of 2015. The program allowed for students to essentially rent out cars for set periods of time. Operations of the CarShare program ceased in June of 2015 due to difficulties insuring their fleet. Zipcar will take its place.

“Because we felt that the demand for car sharing at Buffalo State was still strong, we chose to engage Zipcar to provide car sharing services,” Krieger said.

Zipcar services are currently offered at a discounted membership rate of $15 to current Buffalo State students. The car service is located at the entrance to Cleveland Circle.

The Reddy Bikeshare program is a new program brought to Buffalo by Independent Health in partnership with Shared Mobility, Inc. The program has been developed in an effort to get healthy while having fun. There are 200 red bikes scattered throughout the Buffalo area, including the Buffalo State campus.

These bikes are available with a membership plan at varying prices. All that is needed to ride the bikes is the SoBi app that is available for iPhone and Android devices.

In addition to these new transportation services, the NFTA 32 Amherst bus route has also been restored this semester. According to Terron Grant, USG President, the route had stopped running in front of Buffalo State due to construction on the bridge of Elmwood Avenue that caused delays.

“Immediately I knew that couldn’t happen when you have students who use that bus to go home,” Grant said.

Through the use of a social media blast of complaints from students, Grant and Buffalo State administration was able to restore the bus stop to its normal location on campus.

The transportation services that are offered to students are part of the broad-based fees that students pay for, which makes the bus stop even more crucial.

“We might as well get what we pay for,” Grant said.

There are also new dining options at Buffalo State this year. An Eastern Mediterranean restaurant called Zatar is taking the place of the ice cream retailer that previously occupied the space. Zatar’s menu offers classic Mediterranean favorites like flatbreads, falafels and roasted red pepper hummus.

Daniel Velez, associate vice president of Student Success, spoke on the new changes in food services.

“In the first week we were able to see what students thought about it [Zatar] in terms of the menu and items offered. We were able to quickly respond to students thoughts,” Velez said.

After listening to student requests, dining services explored the idea of adding heating tables to heat flatbreads, adding more authenticity to the Mediterranean cuisine.

Starbucks is now offered at the new Tech Café in the Technology Building.

“We spent considerable time putting together the concept,” Velez said.

The café serves Starbucks drinks and more high-end menu items, like beef on weck, Buffalo chicken sandwiches and steak wraps. Choc-o-latte was at this location before but did not serve Starbucks or the said menu items.

The Science and Mathematics Complex is undergoing phase three of renovations. This meant that Café Oh-Lé had to be relocated to the entryway at the south side of the Science Building.

“That concept [of Café- Oh- Lé] was very important to our students on the north side of campus,” Velez said.

The temporary addition of another Lloyd Taco Truck is another one of the many enhancements that have been made to the dining programs on campus. The second food truck is intended to only be temporary and last for the first few weeks of the fall semester. However, a Lloyd Taco Truck can be found at football games on campus this fall.

“We did it as a way to provide students and faculty and staff another option on campus so that we can meet the demand. We have learned over the years that at the start of the semester there is a high demand for food service that generally tapers off as students become more familiar with schedules,” Velez said.

Velez added that there are even more changes to come to campus by winter of this year, including new furnishings in dining areas. This is part of Buffalo State’s capital improvement plan. There will also be a new state-of-the-art café in the Science and Mathematics Complex next to the planetarium when it opens this fall.

Record Editor Patrick Koster contributed to this story.

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