The New University Union is being renovated, and we’re all excited. We’ve seen the blueprints; the Food Court is going to be bigger, newer, more inviting, more confident, more fun at parties and just generally cooler than ever before. The problem is, there’s a year between then and now, so what are we going to do without the wonderful world of the University Food Court until then? And what about the chains that aren’t coming back? This is a serious problem.
What are we going to do without Taco Bell? Yeah, we all know it isn’t a “real” Taco Bell, but is Taco Bell real anyway? Regardless, the Mexican culinary experience the Bell offers is unparalleled, from the dots of grease left on the corners of a taco when opened to the always-difficult choice of sauce: hot or fire? And an ever-tougher decision: crunchy or soft-shelled? You can learn a lot about someone based on their taco selection. Taco Bell may be replaced by Moe’s when the new New Union opens; the higher-ups are discussing it. And we’re happy about that, but would certainly be losing something special. Here’s to the Dorito Loco Taco, the chicken quesadilla and the Crunchwrap Supreme in all of us. You really don’t know what you got till it’s gone.
As tough as it will be to possibly part with Taco Bell, an even more dominant presence in the Food Court will be leaving us as well: Sbarro. In Italian, Sbarro means “stomach illness.” The pizza chain has caused more indigestion and general grief than anywhere else on campus. But we don’t see Sbarro as a place for food. No, Sbarro is that light at the end of the tunnel when everywhere else is closed. Sbarro is the friend you need when the pasta bar is out of breadsticks. It’s more than just a dark world filled with foreign foods such as “strombolis” and “pizza.” It’s the first thing you see when you enter the Food Court, and it’s beautiful.
But let’s stop looking toward the past. Let’s not consider what the Union employees are going to do when the Food Court closes. Let’s not consider the implications of letting teardrop pasta guy on the loose. Let’s instead look to the future. In a year’s time, the New Union will be beautiful. There’s going to be a Starbucks, an expanded sandwich and salad station and, most importantly, a Mein Bowl twice as large as it is now. Mary will have so many more people to say “hi” to. It’s going to be incredible. Until that day comes, Binghamton will be a darker place, but when the doors open to the even newer Union, our college will be an even greater place than ever before.