One way or another: One question, two opposing viewpoints

It is time to bring back refreshments to campus

Since returning to campus, the Movita Juice Bar and refreshment centers have been closed. That needs to change.

Opinion by Benjamin Royer, Valley Life Editor

Iced vanilla latte with almond milk, please. Oh, and some acai as well!

Flashback to March 2020, where students of Valley College could walk into the Movita Juice Bar, order themselves a cup of Peet’s Coffee, sit down and do schoolwork. Between classes and before arriving for their next course, students could walk up to a vending machine, grab a drink and head into the classroom. Neither are available now, with the accessibility of refreshments disappearing with COVID-19.

Valley’s campus has been open for a month, so the administration should reinstate the amenities students know and love.

(Graphic by Vickie Guzman/The Valley Star)

On the front of Valley’s coffee shop, Movita Juice Bar, a sign is posted from the inside of the door that reads, “Due to LAVC going mostly online we will be closed the week beginning with Monday 3/16 and until further notice.”

Further notice is the troubling reality of this in-person return to campus. Movita Juice Bar’s website says the Valley location is “temporarily closed.” The temporary closure has expanded over a year and there is no sight of immediate return.

Although Valley offers a wide variety of classes online, with the majority of students back on campus, there is no reason to ignore the sighs and chagrins of its students. Bring the energy of campus back into the fray.

Starting this semester, all courses are separated 30 minutes apart. A class that ends at 11:00 a.m. must give a student till 11:30 a.m. to arrive at their next class whether online or in-person.

Students do not have enough time to wait in the long lines at either the Cafeteria or Bookstore to buy a drink or snack. The wait pushes the chances of missing a class higher and creates the uncomfortable reality of being late.

In front of each building features a refreshments center with vending machines. If students were to walk up to a vending machine and to get a drink before class, the machine instead reads “out of order,” with some dispensers empty since March 2020 and others still holding the same snacks from before the COVID-19 closure.

Due to safety measures, students must wear a mask and keep their mouths covered at all times. With this added precaution, there is not enough time for students to drink and refresh during their courses, leaving students malnourished.

“Wearing a mask also causes you to drink less water than usual,” according to the health and dental brand Colgate. “Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, increasing your risk of tooth decay and bad breath.”

Bad breath and dry mouth are a poor combo.

The return to campus after a full year away is difficult enough; Valley should ease the return by refreshing the establishments previously in place.


Valley College’s change in resources serve as a benefit for students

The limited cafeteria hours and juice bar closures may be inconvenient, but it is the only option that makes sense for the college.

Opinion by Cassandra Nava, Editor-in-Chief

Valley College’s decision to keep the cafeteria operating at limited hours and closing Movita Juice Bar altogether is the safest option.

With campus open for the fall semester, students are able to return to the in-person classes that were once the norm. While the college does its best to preserve the regularity students felt in the not so distant past, one thing does not remain the same: limited hours for campus services. Sparse foot traffic on campus is the main reason for the cafeteria’s shortened hours. While the Monarch Cafe is currently open only from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Movita Juice bar (or Lion Cafe) remains “temporarily closed” for the indefinite future.

While some crave the fresh snacks and coffee offered by these services, the college is not only responding to their smaller headcount of students and faculty, but inadvertently making an executive decision on COVID-19 safety.

Mask mandates are set in place for anyone planning to be in an indoor building on campus, but there is no requirement for outdoors. While masking is strongly suggested outside, there is no way it can be enforced. If Movita Juice Bar was open, and vending machines fully stocked, students and faculty would have trouble keeping their masks on in order to enjoy their snacks. Eating outdoors is considered safe, but there is no enforcement on keeping an at least 6-foot distance from others. This creates an issue of social distancing outdoors, which has no set rules or guidelines.

A bigger problem reveals itself when students want to unmask indoors to enjoy the resources the cafeteria and juice bar has to offer. If a student purchases an iced latte before class hoping to caffeinate during a lecture, they will have to remove their mask, exposing their nose and mouth in order to enjoy their beverage. While a pandemic rages on, unmasking indoors is not the smartest option. Although it only takes a couple of seconds to sip, the student will religiously unmask until they’ve finished what they started.

This poses a problem especially if there is more than one student planning on eating or drinking in class. One bare face in a class full of masked individuals may not pose as a serious threat of transmission, but it is likely that fellow classmates will have the same idea to quench their thirst. Unmasked students inside a classroom not only violate district policies, but can unintentionally cause the spread of COVID-19.

Masks reduce the spread of COVID-19 by 70 percent, according to a study of an outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a US Navy class air force carrier where people live in close proximity. Socializing sans masks is the main culprit of the spread of this deadly virus.

Limited cafeteria hours, empty vending machines and the closed juice bar pose issues to students who rely on eating on campus. Although these resources are important for Monarchs, they should be encouraged to take advantage of the limited services available, prepare lunches before hand or plan to eat off campus. Students should take into consideration that these inconveniences serve the greater good.

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