Four Winds reaches quota of meal plan points by early February

Four Winds and Ham Points by Giulia Heyward

A favorite among students, the Four Winds is known for fresh coffee and a relaxing atmosphere.

February 25, 2015 / Volume XXXVII / Issue 2

The Four Winds has announced they will no longer accept meal plan points for the rest of the school year. This comes as a disappointment to students who frequent the Four Winds for its selection of vegan and vegetarian food. The once crowded student café may soon see lower turnout.

“I think that a lot of people are going to stop, or at least cut back, the amount of times they go there this semester,” first-year Lena Nowak said. “I think they should have granted more points, but I don’t know if they feasibly can.”

Originally, the Four Winds accepted cash, credit cards and meal plan points. This provided a second option on campus for students who did not want to eat the food in Hamilton “Ham” Center. Additionally, the Four Winds offers different menus each week, a change from the food that is consistently offered at Ham.

“I’ve made three food hours in the past hour,” first-year Elaina Linz said. Linz is a current employee at the Four Winds who also fears turnout will decrease. “We’re starting to advertise off campus so hopefully that will help but it won’t be anywhere close to as busy as it was.”

This year, the Four Winds was allotted $75,000 in meal plan points, $1,000 more than last year.

When the Four Winds ran out of meal plan points two years ago, sales the following days after were $180 per day. This year, sales after the announcement that meal plan points could no longer be accepted have averaged $280 per day. By mid-February, sales were up to $500.

The current managers of the Four Winds, Tyler Neumann and Arielle Bernhart, are hopeful that sales will increase by the end of the month.

There are several changes that could potentially be made next year when the meal plan points are renewed. Previously, the cafe has employed limits on how many meal plan points are accepted weekly. Additionally, the Four Winds and Metz plan to renegotiate the amount of meal plan points the Four Winds can accept from students.

For the time being, the Four Winds has several tactics for increasing turnout.

“We’re doing a lot of events to try to get people to realize that they can still come here,” Neumann said. “It’s about opening up that access to the Four Winds to get people back in. And I think that people will come back next week.”

The Four Winds plans to host weekly events such as open mic nights and pizza trivia. For an event titled “Flow Fridays”, Neumann will bring in props for patrons’ enjoyment. The cafe also plans on getting involved with more clubs, such as the Go Club. Students are also free to host events at the Four Winds, and thesis students can offer vouchers to students who participate in their thesis.

Ultimately, the Four Winds plans to remain a staple on campus.

“We really try to have the New College spirit at the Four Winds,” Neumann said. “A big part of our hiring process was asking each applicant what their view on the Four Winds and what they think it provides. We really want to know what they want to bring to Four Winds, and we let the employees make it happen. […] It’s really about bringing a community together.”

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