USC Aiken students celebrate Starbucks opening on campus
The national and internationally known Starbucks chain formally opened at USC Aiken on Monday – attended by enthusiastic students “who like having a caffeine center right here on campus,” Student Government Association Vice President Christen Torres said to laughter.
The new store offers a variety of coffee options; espresso, frappuccinos, sandwiches and more. Starbucks, which is located in the Student Activities Center.
The venture is a collaboration between the company, USCA and Aramark, the firm that contracts with Starbucks.
“We're so thrilled of the partnerships that have brought us together,” said USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan. “I want to recognize the impetus that came from the SGA. They asked us for more opportunities and more venues – places to provide them a sense of community.”
Cindy Scott, the store manager, said she is flabbergasted by the response from students. She and the other employees went through 10 days of training.
“We really believe in the Starbucks experience,” Scott said. “We want to go out and get other people in.”
Starbucks' newest site will provide space for students to come together for small meetings, said USCA senior Kayle Klee. She expressed her appreciation that the Student Government Association not only listened to the students, its members “actually got what we wanted,” she said. “This is really great.”
The association worked hard for more food options, Torres said.
“This is really going to accommodate that,” she said. “This is the kind of place that is going to make memories. That's very exciting.”
Joe Sobierlaski, USCA's chief finance officer, also cited the administration's conversations with SGA officers about the option of a national brand that could provide an extended hours location on campus.
“Starbucks kept coming back in the (discussion),” he said. “There's only one other Starbucks in Aiken, and our students are our main focus.”
Starbucks will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.
Editor's note: This version of this story has been updated to correct the name of Christen Torres. The Aiken Standard regrets the error.