Spring brings change to Buzzy’s, Cyber Cafe

Students and faculty alike arrived back on campus this Spring semester to find major renovations to the Cyber Café and Buzzy’s General Store.
Over winter break, BW Dining Services, with the help of Buildings and Grounds, consolidated the sandwich-making portion of Buzzy’s with the Cyber in the basement of Strosacker Hall. While in previous semesters sandwiches were offered at Buzzy’s General Store on the first floor, the move downstairs will now allow for easier accessibility at Buzzy’s and more food offerings at the Cyber, said Director of Auxiliary Services, Dave Jensen.
“The [General] Store and the sandwich making,” said Jensen, “was very congested all the time. This allowed us to change that so we weren’t creating another venue.”
Offering sandwiches in the Cyber, Jensen said, was aimed at directing student traffic. Where previously most food services were offered on the first floor of Strosacker Hall, now both floors will similarly offer dining options for students to avoid overcrowding near the union.
In addition to directing student traffic, Jensen said the opening of the shops on Front Street has also played part in the recent remodel.
“It was always a challenge for us,” he said, “to provide service for students in the conservatory. Having Starbucks on Front Street allows the students to go right next door. That really has helped us in that regard.”
Though this has been beneficial for conservatory students, said Jensen, the new Starbucks has resulted in a decline in beverage sales in the Cyber. By offering sandwiches in the Cyber, Dining Services aims to expand the offerings in Strosacker Hall’s basement to more than just beverage sales.
Em Perry, a senior music therapy major and health management minor, has worked in the Cyber Café for almost four years. Overall, Perry has found the changes to be positive for both students and employees.
“Buzzy’s is now being cross-trained on drinks,” she said, “and the Cyber is being cross-trained on sandwiches. Whenever there is a lacking, there’s always another person. It allows for any gaps to be covered.”
Prior to the changes over winter break, said Perry, the Cyber would often have two employees staffed, which led to slower service during peak business hours. With the two operations working side-by-side, Perry said the number of employees scheduled has doubled and overall service has improved.
The remodel of these BW stores has come amidst additional changes to student Flex Dollars and the new Meal Equivalency program. Whereas students previously received $750 per semester in Flex Dollars—money that is free for students to use on food, books, and other supplies—now students will receive only $200 per semester. The change will not affect upperclassmen who will continue to receive $750 per semester in Flex Dollars up until graduation.
“Instead of giving the $750 in Flex,” said Jensen, “the intent is to give it back in financial aid. A lot of those Flex dollars were determined to go toward the bookstore, and students are not always buying from the bookstore. They’re using Amazon and Chegg.”
Meal Equivalencies, he said, are also a new plan created this year. Students can now exchange meal swipes for a value of $7.50 at other locations than the union, such as the Cyber.
With the new Meal Equivalency and the renovated Cyber, Jensen has noticed an overall increase in the café’s business and less congestion on the first floor of Strosacker Hall.
“Any time we make a change, we’re trying to make it better for the students and our operators. In this case, I think we’ve done that.”
Buzzy’s General Store will now be open daily, 4 to 9 p.m., while the Cyber Café’s will offer beverages daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and sandwiches starting at 11 a.m.