Starbucks in Student Center (finally) open for business, other dining innovations

The fully operational Starbucks has officially opened in the Student Center just in time for the fall semester—and students are buzzing more than ever to get their caffeine fix.

The new operational Starbucks is spacious, stocked with students and pumpkin spice. Photo Credit: Mays Turabi

Last year, students were given a taste of the Starbucks experience with the Starbucks stand, but lost out on a few features. The stand didn’t accept VikingCash, Dining Dollars or Starbucks rewards, but now, all those forms of payment are accepted.

“I’m happy they finally accept rewards now,” shared a CSU student sitting in the Starbucks café.

The mobile order option has transformed the experience even further, with students now being able to order their coffee ahead of class and throughout the day.

However, the line is not getting any shorter. Business is booming.

“I love the new Starbucks, it’s as good as the old Starbucks, but the mobile order definitely makes it a lot slower,” shared CSU student Mac Mitchell. “I think they could honestly do with more training or more staff or something back there for busier hours, especially, like, 9 a.m. and noon, times big classes switch out, lectures let out, there’s a lot of people coming for their coffee.”

The new Starbucks was one of many dining renovations announced in late 2021, with the store’s official opening date having been pushed forward repeatedly throughout last year. 

CSU Dining

Also among the new dining options are Chick-fil-a, which opened in the Student Center on Sept. 15, and Barrio on the first floor of Berkman Hall, which opened on Sept. 5. Before Chick-fil-a was announced, Panda Express was originally slated to join CSU dining.

These new dining options, among other changes to the CSU dining experience, are all a part of CSU 2.0, the university’s master plan for aggressive growth and success that was announced in 2021.

Some of these changes have provoked concern among the CSU student body.

In the spring, CSU announced that beginning in the fall, they would require all on-campus students to purchase a meal plan, the cheapest of which costs $1,150 per semester, while also requiring those in The Edge and The Langston to pay for a full kitchen in their dorms—all on top of the increased costs of housing overall.

Student concern over these new requirements prompted the Student Government Association to pass a resolution seeking meal plan waivers in April.

The new meal swipe fast lane in the Student Center, too, which went unannounced to the student body, seems to exclude commuters from the designated area. Only those with meal plans can access the area for free, while commuters must pay $10 even if they’re not planning on buying food.

In an op-ed published by The Cauldron, Anastasia Hunt shared that CSU’s intent to become a more residential school through CSU 2.0 excludes commuters, citing the meal swipe fast lane and a lack of sufficient seating as examples:

“This semester, they have made it a lot harder for commuters to find a place to sit during their breaks, which can lead to low student engagement in the future. I have noticed a lot of students sitting on the floor throughout different buildings because all of the seating options have been taken. As a commuter myself, I have lunch on campus almost daily and it is a struggle trying to find a place to sit with my colleagues and friends.”


Starbucks at CSU is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed Saturdays.

Author: Mays Turabi

Avid writer, coffee-drinker, art lover. Oh, and Editor-in-Chief for The Cauldron.

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