TU’s new Starbucks has raised safety and parking concerns.
After a long wait, The University of Tulsa’s Starbucks has finally opened. Located in the former computer labs in the McFarlin Library, the Starbucks is fast and convenient for students on their way to class. Friendly workers and a cozy environment provide for an excellent study space for those of us tired of the library’s dark reading rooms. Students and faculty alike have been seen enjoying a quick pick-me-up or walking into classes with their drinks. While Oklahoma’s largest Starbucks was definitely worth the wait, there have been some concerns and questions about how the business will affect campus and ways it can improve.
The most significant concern has been related to parking in the McFarlin Library lot. Although the Starbucks just opened on Nov. 1, it is expected that more locals will start to come which will create parking problems. The McFarlin Library lot already reaches maximum capacity between 11 a.m and 1 p.m. due to people going to the Student Union during the lunch rush or headed to class. Students have been questioning where locals are supposed to park when Hardesty Hall residents are often unable to find parking in their own lot. Not only will this frustrate residents, but Starbucks customers will be less likely to return if they struggle to find parking.
The new Starbucks has also created safety concerns for students who are studying inside of the library. Though the library is open to the public during regular business hours, prior to the Starbucks, there were few locals that entered the library. Students studying in the reading rooms have had encounters with locals wandering about the library which is not only distracting but could pose potential safety risks.
Possibly struggling with the sheer amount of customers, Starbucks has also been quick to run out of important ingredients and alternative milks. Earlier last week, the location was out of oat, almond and soy milk, leaving no options for those unable to have regular milk. Student Isabella Herrera was unable to get a coffee last week, stating, “The lack of a dairy-free milk option was upsetting. Hopefully Starbucks will soon be able to keep up with customer demands.” As the location gathers more data about their customers and what ingredients they will need more of, these issues will resolve themselves.
As with any new business location, there will be issues that have to be ironed out throughout the first few months of opening. While it is easy to complain about mistakes and wait times, the baristas have been training and working hard to give us all the best experience possible.
Dealing with caffeine-crazed college students on the daily is not the easiest job in the world and they each deserve grace and respect.
Starbucks has been a great new addition to the university. While there were complaints about moving the computer labs and the long wait for the location’s completion, it has most certainly been worth the wait. As someone who prefers to study inside of coffee shops, Starbucks provides this alternative study location for those who are unable to travel off campus. The Starbucks is convenient and will only help TU keep up with other Oklahoma colleges such as OU and OSU.