VCU students protest fast food locations on campus

Taco Bell and Burger King will replace self-operated brands.

May 16—The anticipated openings of Burger King and Taco Bell in the student commons at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, in the fall semester are causing a stir among students.

The two fast food restaurants will be replacing two current VCU staples. Asian eatery Nao and Zen as well as Mexican offerings at Zoca are set to be replaced by Burger King and Taco Bell, according to VCU Dining Services.

Many students are excited about these coming changes. According to sales and service manager Tamara Highsmith, the VCU Dining Services recruited the two fast food chains based on student surveys and demands. However, other students are even petitioning against the removal of Nao and Zen, which serves as one of a few meal options for students who are vegetarian, vegan, or need to eat gluten free products.

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The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

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Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

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