As the new academic year rolls in and students get back into their college routines, Geneseo welcomes some changes of its own.
Walking from class to class, it's not unusual to see or hear construction from anywhere on campus. From the elevator and fire alarm system renovations in various residence halls to the addition of a bus loop in the north village, there's no hiding that Geneseo is stepping up its game in the safety department.
Some changes to the campus may not be so necessary though. One of the unnecessary changes is the addition of an exorbitant luxury: an on-campus Starbucks, set to replace the former Campus Grind in the College Union. Construction not only causes a section of the Union to be closed off for an outlandish amount of time, it also puts a local coffee shop, Muddy Waters, at risk.
Starbucks Corporation has been slowly taking over the world for almost 30 years. Who can deny a corporation with over 17,000 locations in almost 50 countries? And who doesn't love an overpriced cup of coffee in sizes that aren't even in English? They play music by John Legend and Norah Jones and invite you in with their spunky baristas and their soothing neutral colors. Starbucks certainly has its merits, but for me, the thought of having a Starbucks on campus rids Geneseo of its "small town, nothing to do" label - not necessarily a bad thing, but kind of our best quality.
Geneseo is a college town, and Main Street is the dream location for students who came here looking for a local town to provide them with the ideal college experience. The hipsters at SUNY Buffalo would kill for a coffee shop like Muddy Waters. Being from Buffalo myself, I can easily say that Starbucks essentially has control over Western New York, second to only the Bills. Well, maybe not.
Why not ditch the overrated corporations and take the extra few steps up to Main Street to your loyal coffee provider and Norah Jones-free Muddy Waters? Embrace the fact that you are lucky enough to have places like Mama Mia's, Muddy Waters and Aunt Cookie's rather than Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Subway.
Now you're probably thinking, "Coffee is coffee, and I'd rather not walk all the way to Main Street for a cup," or maybe, "I couldn't care less about Starbucks being an imperialistic industry" or possibly even, "What is Muddy Waters?" If the latter is the case, then welcome to Geneseo. If the former are true, then enjoy your strawberries and cream frappuccinos. They only have 450 calories, but who's counting?