Price Center undergoes changes

    The Price Center has made changes to its food court selection and physical appearance since the 2001-2002 school year, replacing the family-run Woks Up restaurant with a Panda Express Chinese food franchise.

    The facility’s exterior physical appearance also underwent a makeover this summer when the colors of the awnings were changed from teal to blue and gold.

    Panda Express, which opened last week, is located in the food court next to Star Wraps.

    Students have mixed emotions about the new eatery. Some have argued that the loss of a non-corporate owned establishment affects the university negatively.

    “”The next thing you know, it’s going to be ‘Pepsi presents UCSD’,”” said Eleanor Roosevelt College senior Calvin Leung. “”Star Wraps is probably going to be the next to go.””

    Panda Express is the second corporate food chain to open in the Price Center in 2002. Rubio’s Baja Grill opened last winter quarter when it replaced the independently-owned and operated Tia Molly’s Mexican food restaurant.

    While some argue that the new corporate food is a bad idea, others see it as an asset to the Price Center, as compared to the former family-run eateries.

    “”If the mom-and-pop places had been any good, I’d be sad to see them go, but they weren’t any good,”” said Earl Warren College senior David Tamjidi.

    Jennifer Lee, a John Muir College senior, noted that the quality of food at Woks Up was not up to satisfactory health standards.

    “”I didn’t get sick, but I couldn’t finish it,”” Lee said.

    Many students agreed that Panda Express offers a tasty selection of dishes.

    “”The orange chicken is the shit,”” said Warren junior Trevor Flynn.

    Since its opening, Panda Express has been host to long lines of patrons, which have deterred some hurried students.

    “”I was going to eat there, but the line was too long, so I went to Wendy’s instead,”” Lee said.

    Not only has the Price Center undergone new additions to its interior, its exterior has also received a facelift with the addition of new blue and gold awnings, which replaced the fading teal and white overhangs.

    The idea for the color scheme was proposed at a Triton Tide meeting. Robin Shelton, chair of Triton Tide, said replacing the awnings was the “”logical thing to do.””

    The awnings were paid for with money from the University Centers’ capital improvement fund, which is used each year to pay for whatever needs to be fixed or replaced in the University Centers. The University Centers Advisory Board, UCAB, approved the use of capital improvement money for the awnings.

    Although some involved in the process of changing the awnings were initially hesitant about the new colors, Shelton said that UCAB, the A.S. Council and Triton Tide all agreed that it would be a good idea to update the fading awnings with spirited colors.

    “”We all agreed that it would be a good thing to do, and it would look good as well,”” Shelton said.

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