Over the past few summers, Fairfield has taken on the task of revamping ‘Stag Country’ with big projects such as the Leo D. Mahoney Arena, which opened in 2022, or small developments such as adding the Science Center, Peet’s Coffee and Sambazon to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.
Peet’s Coffee and Sambazon made their big debut when classes started on Sept. 4, and Fairfield students quickly flocked over to the library; so much so that the line was quite literally out the door. After seeing so many people in line, I decided I had to try.
To start off, the Sambazons’s açai bowl is definitely worth the wait in line, which is deceivingly long. Orders for Peet’s Coffee and Sambazon are taken from one register, and orders are put together and served very quickly, which makes for a fast-moving line. It’s open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They accept meal swipes, dining dollars, Stag Bucks and credit or debit cards.
With a meal swipe, I got an açai bowl with granola and three other toppings of my choice. More toppings include coconut, Nutella, strawberries, peanut butter, frozen mango, blueberries, banana, chia seeds and honey. Peet’s Coffee offers espresso, coffee, teas and other beverages. However, a meal swipe only covers an acai bowl or a drink, so if you want both, you may have to cut into your dining dollars.
Despite excellent food and drink options and relatively quick service, trying to fit so much into a tiny space can create a chaotic ambiance. With an extensive line going out the door and people waiting for their orders, the room can quickly pack. Employees walk in and out of the kitchen, and customers walk back and forth to get spoons, straws and napkins.
Peet’s Coffee and Sambazon are both great additions to campus and add variety, though the library may not be the best location considering the size. The other addition to the library this summer was the Science Center, where students can go for extra help with their science classes. This was added to the academic commons alongside the Math and Writing centers.
While I love a good açai bowl, iced coffee or even a tutor, I also live in Loyola Hall. Loyola Hall is the only unrenovated housing on campus, meaning there is no air conditioning outside of student lounges. Due to high unprecedented temperatures during the first week of school, Loyola students were left sleeping in student lounges and using numerous fans to stay cool. It put student health potentially at risk, and many frustrated parents brought up these concerns to the university on Facebook.
I believe that any campus renovations should focus first on housing. Additions like the Science Center that involve education are essential, too. However, student housing is the first place students become comfortable on campus, where they spend a lot of their time. The first week for many freshmen is stressful, and the torrid heat for those living in Loyola made it an uncomfortable transition.
Considering Loyola is the only unrenovated residence hall on the Quad, there is also a lack of resources compared to other dorms. There are fewer washers in the laundry room, outdated student lounges and a lack of other student resources, such as printers. My mom was a first-year at Fairfield University in 1995 and also lived in Loyola, and it looks about the same as it did 28 years ago when she moved in.
Small, gradual renovations added each summer, such as adding air conditioning, and renovating bathrooms or laundry rooms, could have been implemented rather than adding more food options in the library that already had a Dunkin Donuts.
Although I am enjoying these new additions to campus, it does seem there could have been other renovations that were prioritized first. But at least now I can have an açai bowl to cool off in Loyola Hall.