Molly Zahner ‘21, Staff Writer

Access to good food is something every student looks for on a college campus and Immaculata University offers it in the Nazareth Dining Hall, Immaculatte, and now the new IHM Student Center.  In fact, the dynamic of services offered to accommodate the student body at Immaculata has changed significantly over the past year.   In 2018, the Student Center began construction and was completed in Spring 2019, featuring new dining services, a multimedia room, conference rooms, and a recreation center.  The Student Center was built on the west side of campus to accommodate apartment residents, but the entire university is encouraged to utilize its services.  It has definitely become a student-loved place to hang out and play games, have club meetings, or grab some food from “The Grill on the Hill.”  Sophomore Billy Freeman emphasized, “I like the food services at the Student Center because the food is always made to order and everything tastes really good and comes out hot.”

Source: Pinterest

While the Student Center offers delicious, hot meals, the result of its opening caused a student-loved dining option to be taken away: The Market in Loyola Hall.  The Market provided a variety of snacks, meals, desserts, and over-the-counter medications to appeal to the needs of the student body.  If students did not have a car on campus and needed to go grocery shopping, they could stop by The Market and use their I-points or a meal swipe to purchase more food.  “The market was a great place to go for late-night snacks and pre-made meals and other necessities for dorm living,” stated sophomore Erin Gouak.  While the new Student Center does offer some products The Market had, such as the F’Real milkshakes, it does not have the same grab-and-go snacks students want to have access to on campus.

Source: Immaculata University

Now that the new Student Center is up and running, The Market is no longer a dining option at the university.  What was once a vibrant, convenience-like store on the ground floor of Loyola— with shelves and refrigerators stocked with food and drinks— is now just a room full of boxes with the blinds pulled down.  Some students say it is going to be turned into a nursing laboratory, but currently, nothing has been done to the vacant room after nearly a year since its closing.

Many students would like to see The Market come back as a dining option on campus.  Sophomore Kathryn Frederick lamented, “Losing The Market was a great loss for me, personally. I enjoyed having the opportunity to spend my IU points there. Now that they have closed, I find I have less convenient and fun ways to spend my points.”  Most students have a meal plan that offers either 19 or 15 meal swipes a week with 150 I-points to spend each semester.  Meal swipes can be used in the dining hall, Immaculatte, or the Student Center; however, students can only use meal swipes at the Student Center between the hours of 7 pm-8 pm which is a late time to go across campus for dinner for those who live in the dorms.

A significant number of residents also do not have a car on campus or do not want to drive off-campus to get a quick snack and spend their own money.  “It was also a great alternative to a grocery store,” Kathryn Frederick continued, “If I wanted a tub of ice cream or a bag of Doritos, The Market was the place to go. Now I have to go off-campus and use my debit card. I would love to see The Market reopen.”  It is uncertain whether or not the beloved dining service will open again, but after talking with many students, it is clear that the student-body misses the easy-access food The Market provided to the Immaculata community.

Source: Molly Zahner