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Outtakes, a convenience store on campus, is located in the West Village Commons (photo by Elaina Clarke/TU student)
 

When Towson University students moved into the new West Village complex at the beginning of this semester, many expected the ultimate treatment. West Village Commons, a popular new hub for students, features an Einstein Bagels, Jamba Juice, Coyote Jacks, a dining hall, and Outtakes: a one-stop-shop for all your food needs. While many students are more than satisfied with the new Commons, it seems Outtakes has been getting a good deal of criticism. Why? Prices.

Raleigh Kennedy, a sophomore at Towson, says she is not satisfied with Outtakes’ prices.

“You know you’re gonna be paying triple of what you should be paying, like when we went there lastweek we spent $80 on something I would spend maybe $25 on at a normal grocery store, it was ridiculous,” she said.

Towson students operate on a meal and point plan, so most of the money they spend for food is takenout of their weekly pre-paid meal allotment. If the price of their food exceeds $5.60, they dip into their points. At Outtakes, a box of cereal may reach over $7, taking the student to a meal and points. Many students aren’t too fond of spending twice what they would pay in a grocery store.

“The price for a box of cereal is double that of a normal grocery store,” Kennedy said. “Like it’s completely overpriced but students will pay it because they need it, they need the products. Like none of the prices coincide with prices of real world food, so it just, y’know a sandwich is gonna be $8 and it’s completely overpriced.”

Beth Valle, Marketing Director for Chartwells, the campus dining service, says there have been complaints about prices on campus, but that is inevitable. She also says students are paying for the convenience.

 “It’s basically a convenience thing…y’know we don’t really buy boxed cereal or any of those convenience items or those packaged grocery store items that we have in Outtakes, we don’t really sell them anywhere else on campus but those stores, so what we buy is not in bulk so our costing is higher than you would see it in other places,” she said.

 In today’s struggling economy, it seems even college convenience stores need to charge a little extra to turn a profit.

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