Students react to Cap Bar changes

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One of the changes instituted this fall is the direction of the line. Patrons now place orders on the right side of the counter rather than the left.

Change arrived at the University of Dallas’ most cherished spot on campus this school year: the Cap Bar.

Some students were vocally against last year’s change of Aramark’s taking over finances, until it was made clear that the Cap Bar would remain student-run with the exact same products.

When Aramark took over the Cap Bat last spring, it added a credit card reader to give patrons more payment options. Up until this change in administration, the Cap Bar had only accepted cash.

This year, however, the change-resistant campus faces new technology and longer lines.

Sophomore Jonathan Gontarz, who is going on his second year working at the Cap Bar, said that although the transition is initially challenging, the Cap Bar will adjust.  

“Right now, sure it’s a little more difficult because you’re just learning the software, but that’s part of the job, and everyone will get the hang of it,” Gontarz said. “It won’t be an issue.”

The Cap Bar now has a digital register and accepts students’ declining balance from the meal plan as payment.

But such changes have slowed down the time it takes to get a drink.

Students are used to being able to grab a drink in the 10-minute period between classes, but this year the line often extends into the walkway from the Haggar foyer into the Cap Bar.

“For the start of the semester [customers] are going to be waiting a little bit longer because employees are trying to figure out the software,” Gontarz said. “But in the future I think that employees will get the hang of it and it will run just as smoothly as it did before.”

Gontarz said that both adding the credit card reader last year and now allowing students to use their declining balance for payment makes the Cap Bar more accessible to customers.

Sophomore Nathan Smith, who regularly studies in the Cap Bar, said that he favors this year’s change.

“I think it’s good for the students in the sense that we can have more access to food up to midnight, which we should have, being college students,” Smith said.  

Smith, like Gontarz, said that he is not concerned about the average time it takes to get a drink.

“That’s just because of demand,” Smith said. “So are we gonna be mad that the Cap Bar is high in demand? I’m not. I mean, yes it’s longer, but that’s not a good enough reason so say ‘oh I don’t like the Cap Bar.’ ”

Sophomore Ammique Comeaux, however, said that she is not excited about the changes.

“I just feel like there isn’t enough efficiency going around, so there’s longer lines when it’s at popular times of the day,” Comeaux said. “So it makes it hard to just grab a coffee.”

Comeaux said that she enjoys spending her declining balance at the Rathskeller, but now that the Cap Bar also takes the declining balance, students will run out of their money much faster.

She proposed that Aramark have two declining balances, one for the Cap Bar and one for the Rat.

“The declining amount for the Rat is nice, but people are going to forget they [use declining balance at both places],” Comeaux said. “So maybe split it and have a plan if no one wants it.”

Still, the Cap Bar continues to be one of the most popular spots on campus, complete with laughter, lines and a surplus of caffeine.

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