Every other Tuesday at ASU’s West campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students will
hear music from a live DJ and smell the aroma of freshly cooked food wafting by them as
they head out for lunch that day — food trucks have hit Fletcher Lawn.
In 2015, around 3,600 students were enrolled in classes on West campus, that's around 48,000 less than Tempe campus. With food options stretching from the Memorial Union to Mill Avenue, Tempe students have a slew of restaurants to choose from. While students at West campus lack that variety, the food trucks began as a way to help provide students with more on-campus food options.
Food trucks at Fletcher started spring 2016 after
students requested more food options on campus. The campus partners
with the Phoenix Street Food Coalition in order to get a different food truck
on campus every other week — because it was such a success the previous semester,
they decided to continue the event.
David Anaya, coordinator for the Educational
Outreach and Student Services, said the food trucks are a direct result of the students.
“They’ve asked for a
variety of options so obviously we can’t make a fix overnight, but this is
something that we were able to do,” Anaya said.
Not only do the food
trucks provide students something to eat outside of the dining hall, they also
give them different varieties of food choices as well. From Mexican food
served by The Wandering Donkey to locally grown organic items from Livin' Lite, students have the opportunity to test
out different cuisines.
Lance Smith, owner and
chef of The Wandering Donkey, caters to ASU with his food truck. Smith worked at events like Cardinals games and continues to partner ASU at events, frequenting the Tempe campus.
Smith says that having children who just graduated college makes him enjoy working at ASU, along with the
big crowds and business that students bring.
“It gives me the
opportunity to be around people,” Smith said.
Because the menu is
always changing, Anaya said he believes that students are excited to have different
foods to try.
While eating a burrito
from the food trucks, senior psychology major Kimberly Palos said they are a good idea because it brings a convenience factor to the campus. If
students don’t want to eat at the dining hall, they have other choices at their
“I think it’s a good
idea just so people won’t have to go out of their way to go somewhere else,
grab food and then have to drive all the way back here because that can be an
inconvenience,” Palos said.
Palos also felt that
the food trucks encourage a more sociable setting saying, "I feel like it brings
people together because they might run into each other or have lunch together
on their break."
Anaya hopes that the
food trucks will help create an environment that unites the community on the
West campus, one that provides an opportunity for professors and students
to meet and have lunch together.
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