Subway is a good addition but not a diverse dining choice

The new Subway restaurant slated to open on campus by the end of March means that dining options are about to get more diverse — within the confines of the Student Center, that is.

Anyone who is willing to leave the warmth of the Student Center and walk a few hundred feet up the street has already been enjoying Subway for years, since there’s one located on South Limestone Street, just past Keeneland Hall. In the other direction from campus is another Subway on the corner of Euclid and Woodland avenues.

The decision to bring a Subway as the next phase in the expansion of UK dining options was made after putting together an advisory board, hiring a consultant and polling students about what national brands they would like to see, the Kernel reported Friday.

Obviously plenty of thought went into this decision, and we certainly don’t want to downplay the popular vote. If a large number of students want to see a Subway in the Student Center, regardless of some already located nearby, then Dining Services should certainly heed to the student voice.

But still, we have to wonder: Are you sure? If students wanted more sandwich options, how about a Penn Station, a Quiznos or any of the other national chains that make subs their specialty? In a similar vein, a Panera Bread, Schlotzsky’s or comparable restaurant would be a welcome addition to the campus area.

Diversifying campus dining should mean considering not only on-campus options but the entire campus community. Bringing Chick-fil-A to the Student Center was a perfect example of this. Also, opening up the Plus Account system so that it can be used at off-campus restaurants was a smart move; now students who live on campus can easily use their WildCard to eat anywhere nearby — including Subway.

At this point, it’s unlikely that the plans to bring in another Subway store will change. In future decisions about placing outside restaurant chains on campus, UK Dining Services should take into account not only the desires of students, but also what will diversify the available options, both on- and off-campus.