Students trying to grab a cup of joe on weekend mornings at the Melville Library Starbucks are out of luck.
When the Student Union closed for renovation and Starbucks moved across the street to Melville Library, the hours of operation were cut by 9.5 hours a week, with the biggest reduction coming on Fridays and Saturdays. Students must now wait until noon on Saturdays and Sundays to get their Starbucks fix. This is a one hour difference compared to the Union location, which opened at 11 a.m. on weekends.
In addition, the Starbucks in the library closes at 8 p.m. on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Saturdays, instead of remaining open until midnight like the former Union location.
“After reviewing transaction counts from the Stony Brook Union Starbucks for Fall 2016, the hours of operation for Spring 2017 were adjusted to better accommodate student needs,” Michael West, the director of Campus Dining for the Faculty Student Association, said in an email. “Starbucks is now open longer hours during the days when most students are on campus (Sunday through Thursday), and weekend hours that best accommodate student schedules.”
However, the change has not been convenient for all students’ schedules. Lauren Weisburg, a sophomore multidisciplinary studies major, learned about the weekend hours the hard way.
“The first time I found out, I showed up at 9 a.m., and that upset me,” she said. “It’s annoying it opens so late on weekends because I want my coffee.”
Other students shared Weisburg’s sentiment about the lack of coffee and food availability on campus during weekend mornings.
“A lot of people try to get coffee in the morning,” Laurel Gumpert, a junior psychology and sociology major, said. “The whole Campus Dining situation with opening late and not at full capacity on weekends is frustrating.”
Options other than Starbucks do exist on weekends. Simply-to-Go locations in West Side Dining and the Emporium in East Side Dining offer brewed White Coffee Company coffee. Machine-made Nescafé coffee beverages and bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos are also available. However, handmade Starbucks beverages such as lattes, macchiatos, iced coffees and smoothies are not available at the non-Starbucks locations. Students wanting those premium options must wait until one of the two Starbucks locations on campus open.
The Starbucks in Roth Café has maintained the same hours as the closed Student Union location. Here, students have an extra hour in the morning and up to six hours in the evening to grab their Starbucks’ beverage of choice.
Stony Brook is one of only about 350 college campuses across the country that have a Starbucks location. Other universities have more expansive morning hours, including LIU Post in Brookville, New York and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
On Saturdays, both the LIU Post and Rider University Starbucks locations open at 9 a.m., a much less drastic change compared to their weekday hours, when they open at 7:30 a.m.. LIU Post and Rider both utilize Aramark as their food service provider, whereas Stony Brook utilizes Sodexo.
Sodexo and Campus Dining operate both the Melville Library and Roth Cafe Starbucks locations on campus. A Starbucks spokesperson noted that unlike traditional locations, many campus locations are licensed stores not operated by corporate.
Just as at Stony Brook, Sodexo operates two Starbucks locations at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, one of which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The other shares similar hours to the Stony Brook locations, opening at 11 a.m. on weekends and 7 a.m. on weekdays.
The 24-hour-a-day location would suit Nicole Penaloza, a freshman biology major, who drinks coffee primarily at night.
“I drink coffee late anyway so [the hours] don’t affect me,” she said. “But I feel it should be open early because you need it in the morning.”
Those needing their morning fix can also visit the Stony Brook University Hospital Starbucks, which opens at 7 a.m. on weekends or the numerous off-campus locations. Within a ten-minute drive, students will find six locations, with the closest being located on Route 25A in East Setauket and at the junction of Route 347 and Stony Brook Road in Stony Brook. Students, however, will need to bring cold, hard cash, as these locations do not accept meal plans.