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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Pizza, ice cream live to see another day in dorms

Despite rumors to the contrary, the hall stores are all but certain to stay open into the next school year. Photo by Brittany McGrail / [email protected]

While Angelo’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant met its untimely demise earlier this academic year, rumors that the hall stores around campus will be following Angelo’s lead are unfounded for now.

Stationed at varying locations within each of the nine residence halls, these stores provide cheap drinks, chips, ice cream, pizza and a variety of other snacks all within the confines of your dorm building.

Recently, rumors have swirled that these establishments might not make it another year.

Rick Arcuri, associate dean for residence life and adviser to the student-run hall stores, said the rumors may have started after a meeting last semester.

At that meeting, the staff was informed the hall stores had to start doing more business or there was a risk the program could not sustain itself.

Arcuri said there has always been a risk for the program to be shut down.

He said the hall store is not budgeted, but rather pays for its own expenses from its revenues. Hypothetically, if the hall stores began to see a net loss, the program would be cut.

This hypothetical looked close to becoming a reality last semester, Arcuri said, because the stores were seeing “comparatively worse (sales) last semester to an extent not seen before.”

Neither Arcuri nor Brandon Knop, the hall store coordinator and a junior in the College of Business Administration, could provide specific financial numbers. However, Arcuri said if the stores continue at the present pace they should be fine.

Arcuri said the hall stores are meant to complement the meal plan for students looking for a late night meal, and that several other programs the university has started have undercut the earnings of the stores.

McCormick being open later and MarquetteCASH being accepted at restaurants near campus are examples of these programs that have hurt the hall stores, he said.

Regardless, Arcuri said he expects sales to pick up at this time of year as they normally do because of the frigid winter climate.

He said he felt confident hall stores will still be around next year, and probably will be five years down the road as well.

This was a message the store managers bought into, and Arcuri said business has been better since the meeting.

Making the necessary adjustments based on customer requests is key to the hall stores’ success, Knop said in an e-mail.

Knop described the changes the hall store made this year, and said customers have “really responded well” to them.

“We made a few changes this year to the hall store … including shifting the hours later and introducing some new products,” he said.  “Whether it is because of these overall changes or some of the great work advertising and staffing the stores on an individual level, our stores have performed quite well.”

Kevin O’Brien, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said he would feel bad for future Marquette students if they didn’t have a hall store. O’Brien, who lives in Straz Tower, said the convenience of the hall store is the best part.

According to Arcuri, the hall stores opened in 1974 and he described them as a “student success story.”

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