Simply Juice is Simply Gone

In the lobby of the Student Union, Jenifer Galatis, an education major, lounges peacefully on a plump, beige couch, blissfully unaware that she is in the very spot where a juice bar once lived.

There was a juice bar here?” Galatis said. “I never noticed it; I just go for the couches.”

Only months ago, Simply Juice made its home in this corner of the Student Union, handing out various fruit-flavored ices and smoothies of various textures. Although many enjoyed the juice bar refreshments, profits were dwindling and the cost of maintaining the bar became more work than it was worth.

After a unanimous decision by Student Union directors and Chartwells – the company that runs the food concessions at FAU – a $15,000 purchase order was placed to remove the juice bar. A maintenance crew demolished the area and in its place now sits a couch, five bar stools and a coffee table. Also part of the plan was to add a pool table and foosball across from the new couches.

“There was so much competition from the other food venues offered in the Student Union that it didn’t stand a chance,” Assistant Director of the Student Union Bill Horstman said. “It just wasn’t making enough money anyways.”

“If students really want to get a drink, they’re probably going to be happier going there,” Horstman said, referring to Coyote Jack’s Restaurant and Outtakes Convenience Store.

Chartwells owns and controls all FAU food venues on campus, including Starbucks, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the complete Breezeway Cafeteria. Chartwells could not be reached to report the exact revenue – or lack thereof – made from the juice bar, although Horstman said that in all essence, losing the juice bar does not affect any profits for FAU.

“Chartwells and Barnes and Noble are both companies that give a lot to FAU besides their services,” Horstman said. “They always give monetary donations through scholarships.”

Brian Keintz, the Student Union director from Michigan, has been a big proponent in gaining more student involvement at the center.

“We sat down and asked ourselves, ‘what would serve the students best?'” Keintz said. “And some more entertainment was deemed necessary.”

The pool table and foosball setup cost the university a grand total of $4,600 – money subtracted from student activity fees which all students pay per semester.

“I think it was a great addition to the Student Union,” Student Government Vice President Abe Cohen said. “I personally never used the juice bar – it was too expensive.”

Student Government does not control what happens in the Student Union Center, although they do have some sway for what they think should be done on campus. A personal spending account, for instance, is available to the president and vice president of $5,000 for every semester – none which was spent on sprucing up the Student Union.

“I can’t believe the difference from just last year in how many students are involved at the Student Union Center,” Cohen said. “The pool and foosball tables have really made a difference and so has Mr. Keintz.”

Cohen said that Keintz is very involved and interested in the student voice and opinion, and he sometimes walks around campus asking students what they would like to see change on campus.

“It was never something I had to ask the students about,” Keintz said. “It was a unanimous decision to add more to the Student Union.”

The Student Union Center may be adding more for students in the future, but food venues will remain consistent for the time being.

“After all, it is the students’ University Center” Horstman said.