There is no doubt that the addition of the Starship Delivery Robots has been fantastic for the BSU community. Arriving in 2020, the non-interactive food service provided students and staff the opportunity to learn and work in a safe environment, while also enjoying fresh meals during a COVID heavy time.
But as the world begins to slowly return to normal, the popularity of the robots has not changed. With BSU returning to full capacity this year the delivery system is still as popular as ever, with white rovers spotted daily throughout the campus. The convenience of not waiting in line at dining halls on the other side of campus, or being able to forgo trekking to a hall in nasty weather has resulted in an influx of orders every single time dining halls open.
However, despite its many great features, there are definitely some improvements that could be made to the relatively new system.
The ability to only pay using dining/flex dollars has raised frustration for many across campus (especially me). After ECC closes for the night at 8:30 pm, those who live on campus with an influx of meal swipes are suddenly left with no options. With Crimson Dining being the only option for Starship deliveries and in person dining past 8:30 pm, those without dining dollars are forced to spend money on delivery or find another solution for dinner. This is frustrating, as there are many students, like me, who have an abundance of meal swipes that won’t run out by the end of the semester and we are hungry!
I would love for the Starship robots to start taking meal swipes. Students could give up 2, or even 3 meal swipes in exchange for a delivery, as the maintenance cost and delivery fees are more expensive when compared to eating in-person. With an abundance of meal swipes and little time remaining in the semester, I am certain that there are students willing to use meal swipes in lieu of dining/flex dollars as campus comes to a close. Adding this choice for students will not only create more payment options, but will also ensure that students are able to go to sleep on a full stomach.