Corp To Open ‘More Uncommon Grounds’ Coffee Cart in ICC

By Tina Morin Hoya Staff Writer

Georgetown students will soon be able to satisfy their craving for coffee without having to trek to Leavey Center. The Corp is scheduled to open a coffee cart, called More Uncommon Grounds, or M.U.G., Monday at 10 a.m. in the ICC Galleria.

According to a Corp press release the coffee cart was created to “meet the demand for coffee in ICC among faculty and students.” Eventually, proceeds from M.U.G. will be used to fund a yearly undergraduate scholarship that will initially be worth $1,000 but will grow in future years, the release said.

The M.U.G. menu will consist of coffee, tea, espresso drinks, biscotti, juice and water, with the option of expanding the menu if there is a demand.

The cart will be located in front of the stairwell on the west side of the Galleria.

According to Sonia Jacobson, assistant for academic affairs, the Office of the Provost will provide eight tables and 24 chairs for the area in the Galleria near the cart, mimicking the cafe-like feel of Uncommon Grounds, Jacobson said.

“I think it fits really well there,” Erin Gregory (MSB ’00), Director of Uncommon Grounds, said, adding that the students and faculty alike seem very excited about the coffee cart.

MUG will be a “quieter environment” than Uncommon Grounds, with no music played when it first opens, Gregory said. She said that she thought the cart would mean more traffic through the Galleria as well as more socialization, especially among teachers and students.

While the Office of the Provost was in charge of preparing the space for M.U.G., the Corp took the responsibility of purchasing the cart and all the machinery necessary to start it, Gregory said. Both the Corp and the Office of the Provost contributed financially, Jacobson said.

In addition, Gregory said that the Office of the Provost had the building outfitted with a pantry in the stairwell and had a drain and water supply installed so that the cart would meet DC health regulations. Office space behind the cart was provided, Gregory said, and Jacobson added that storage room on the second floor was set aside for the Corp to keep cups and supplies.

As soon as the Corp’s investment in the construction of the cart is recovered, potentially as early as next spring, The Corp will begin using part of MUG’s profits to create an annual $1,000 scholarship to be awarded to a Georgetown undergraduate student, the press release reported. It also said that as MUG’s profits increase, so too will the scholarship, in increments of $500. This scholarship will be offered in addition to the other two scholarships the Corp already sponsors.

Jacobson said that the Office of the Provost asked the Corp to write this scholarship into their service contract because they wanted to make sure that “the profits were shared.”

This reflects the Corp’s commitment to helping students, Gregory said. She said that Uncommon Grounds currently pays rent to the Office of Student Programs to help student programs.

Also included in the service contract, Gregory said, was the agreement to use a mobile cart. She said that it can be partially disassembled and stored behind the stairwell when large functions are scheduled for the Galleria. However, she also said that there is the possibility that arrangements could be made for the cart to be used for these functions as counter space or for serving food. In that way the cart will be “useful for a variety of functions,” she said.

Jacobson said the idea for the cart came about last October when the Office of the Provost approached the Corp about the possibility of meeting the demand for coffee. According to Jacobson, the Office of the Provost, which is housed in ICC, noticed almost immediately after the faculty lounge had been closed at the end of last year a need for “vending, coffee, and a place to sit,” a need they confirmed using a survey.

Students and administrators expressed excitement at the prospect of the new coffee cart. Jacobson said, “The perception we get from everyone walking [as construction of the cart proceeds]. was `When?’ `When?'”

“It’s a good idea. I think it’ll be very convenient and it’ll save us time,” Wendy Hung (COL ’02) said.

“People usually go by Wisemiller’s or Uncommon Grounds, but those are the two extremes of campus, so if you’re not around, the ICC cart would be a good alternative,” Patricia Chen (MSB ’02) said.

“We’re thrilled. We can’t wait,” Jacobson said.

To celebrate the grand opening of MUG the Office of the Provost will be paying for the first 200 cups of coffee served, and the Corp will be providing free plastic mugs with the UG logo with the first 50 iced drinks served.

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