Honors Coffee Forum policy change negatively affects students

Naomi Wick

The Honors Coffee Forum has been the perfect study room for Texas State students for years. Located in Lampasas and housing the Gallery of Common Experience, the coffee forum allows intellectuals to gather together and enjoy the ambient coffee shop atmosphere without the bustle of an actual cafe, complete with free hot coffee. Last week, the Honors College announced, via a piece of paper taped to the wall next to the coffee station, that there would be a mandatory donation of 50 cents for a cup of coffee.

Since the announcement, the Honors College has recanted this ruling and revised the hours it offers coffee to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rather than 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The policy change institutes the impossible idea of a “mandatory donation” and fewer hours of provided coffee. This is unacceptable for active participants within the Honors College Coffee Forum.

Texas State accepts grants from the state for positive student performance, and the Honors program is a big contributor to everything good about the school’s academic reputation. Texas State automatically admits incoming freshmen to the Honors College if they meet certain criteria, such as graduating in the top 10 percent of their class or a high enough SAT/ACT score. Texas State touts the free coffee as a major selling point for students considering joining the Honors College.

Honors students work hard, not only for themselves, but for the school. Taking rigorous courses and writing a senior thesis during undergrad, along with working part-time as most students do, Honors students rely on caffeine provided in the Honors Forum to get by. Academia is challenging, and Honors students go above and beyond to earn a degree and improve the value of it by upping Texas State’s reputation.

It’s not only honors students who benefit from the Coffee Forum. A large majority of first-generation college students and non-traditional students work tirelessly to make their family proud, often working full-time jobs or double-majoring on top of a normal course load. These students are the ones Texas State should be honored to have, and in turn, the institution should respect the dedication and long hours students put in. A simple offering in form of a hot cup of coffee after an all-nighter is a small way to show that reverence.

The Honors College has an operating budget of nearly $69,000, and yet the college still complains of 20 lost mugs and not enough coffee donations. While backtracking on the required donation claim was a positive step, limiting hours of coffee is not the solution. Similarly, it’s simply unprofessional of the Honors College to not announce this change anywhere except for a piece of paper taped to a wall. An email would have been more appropriate.

There’s no reasonable way the budgeting office cannot reallocate money to afford a steady stream of simple, cheap, black coffee and some sugar packets bought in bulk.

-Naomi Wick is a journalism senior