NJCU Running on Dunkin’?

Future site of the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts to be built in the Frank J Guarini Library. Photo by Dakota Santiago
Future site of the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts to be built in the Frank J Guarini Library. Photo by Dakota Santiago

By Diana C. Hernandez–

The university is planning to remove part of a computer lab and a reference desk and replace it with a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise on the first floor of the Congressman Frank J. Guarini Library.

NJCU officials have discussed adding an internet café to campus for some time, but that plan has now been put into action. The expected opening of Dunkin’ Donuts is fall 2014.

“We expect to begin construction this summer and have it completed by the fall semester,” President Sue Henderson said in a phone interview.

The side door to the library’s computer lab will lead into the new internet café. “You have to come into the library to get into the internet café and then the Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Henderson. “The side door will be the only door to walk into the internet café.”

Andrew Christ, associate vice president for Facilities and Construction Management, was contacted several times for a comment about the construction of Dunkin’ Donuts, but remained unavailable.

Director of Library Services, Frederick Smith, who has been working at NJCU since 1986, feels that the Dunkin’ Donuts will cause distractions, security issues, and the removal of important educational resources.

Smith also finds it disconcerting that there are no plans that he knows of to replace what will be taken out.

“Classrooms will be cut in half. The front computer lab will disappear and the reference desk. At the moment there is no place to replace the reference desk. The area behind the reference desk will also be part of Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Smith. “The Dunkin’ Donuts will generate an ordinate amount of noise and smells. Dunkin’ Donuts will just be a glass wall [store front] facing the library. You can sit in the Dunkin’ Donuts and look into the library. Will that be sound proof? We have no idea, we have not been informed.”

Smith feels strongly that the librarians should have been involved in the process of this renovation from the beginning. A few years ago when the library underwent construction, he said staff were involved from beginning to end, but this time around they were left out of the loop.

“We feel affronted given our track record in the library and then to be dismissed like this. It’s rather unprofessional,” said Smith.

President Henderson became aware of the unshared information about the new construction. On April 15, she went to the library and reassured the staff members they will be further involved.

“I also discovered that there has not been enough consultation with the Library staff.  I met with them … and assured them that they would be part of the process going forward. The work of the librarians becomes more and more important to us all in the way that we gain information in this new technological world,” said Henderson.

While there are specific concerns about the new expansion, some students believe the internet café will attract more students to visit the library.


“I think having a Dunkin’ Donuts would be a great idea. It would be awesome if it was available to us after the library closes because it does close a little early and sometimes we need to stay longer,” said Ivelisse Cruz, 24, Early/Special Education and Psychology, from Jersey City.

In addition, some students were interested in the fact that DD coffee is often cheaper than Starbucks; a 20-ounce cup of Joe at DD is $1.95, compared to Starbucks’ $2.25.

“…It will directly compete with Starbucks. Starbucks will be closed down because DD will be cheaper, [that’s] cannibalization,” said Thanuja Ganeshalingam, 18, International Business, from Jersey City.

Mario Mantilla, 24, Media Arts, from Jersey City (who does his work study for the library) said that most of the staff is happy with the change that is to come.

“Everyone loves the idea and they’re looking forward to it. Some like the idea of a less expensive alternative to Starbucks and others don’t feel like we needed another computer lab in the first place. I’m not a big coffee drinker and I’m also graduating, so the beautiful thing is I don’t have to care.”

There are students who are in favor of a Dunkin’ Donuts being in the library. They feel that this will encourage studying behavior in the library. If students get hungry or need a caffeine fix, they can go to Dunkin’ Donuts and then go right back to their books.

“Another thing we are getting out of it is that it makes the library a place for students to come and study and meet with students,” said Henderson

Some students do not mind a DD on campus, but they believe the library is not the best place for it.

“I like the idea of adding a Dunkin’ Donuts on campus, but I don’t think that the library would be the best place for it to be in,” said Romeo Ferreras, 21, Psychology major, from Jersey City. “Not only because of the attention that it will attract from students and staff while students are trying to do research or homework, but also because we, as students, need all those educational resources in order to improve and succeed on our academic development. Now if you want to add a Dunkin’ Donuts on campus, [the] best place would be G-SUB.”

Regardless of all these mixed feelings, the change is inevitable. The Dunkin’ Donuts corporation is looking forward to being a part of the NJCU community.

“Our new Dunkin’ Donuts location at the New Jersey City University Library is planned to open this fall. We look forward to working with NJCU and keeping people on campus running on Dunkin’ Donuts’ wide range of hot and iced beverages, sandwiches and baked goods,” Dunkin’ Donuts said in a statement emailed to The Gothic Times.