By Bridget Gum-Egan
AS the air began to cool on April 21, a breeze carried the delicious smells from the four food trucks throughout the Campus Mall, accompanied by the throbbing sounds of music. Despite the event starting at 7 p.m., many Rider students began lining up for food well before the official start time. However, students were in for a surprise as the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) had announced a new system for running this event.
Earlier that day, the SEC sent out a mass email explaining that new steps would have to be taken in order for students to get any of the food options. According to the email, “Students must show a Rider ID to receive a meal ticket and cannot receive another ticket until the previous one has been used.” Essentially, each student had to stand in line for a voucher for one of the food trucks. After receiving the ticket, people had to then stand in line at the food truck of their choice. However, students could go back to get more vouchers as many times as they wanted, as long as they presented their ID each time.
Kyylah Harley, senior psychology major and member of the SEC, explained why the voucher system had been introduced. “The last one [Food Truck Friday] there were a lot of non-Rider students here,” she said. “We didn’t want any non-Rider students to take food from Rider students.”
Harley expanded by explaining how the SEC as a group came up with the voucher system because it was the best solution to provide Rider students with the most options and availability to the food offered.
Harley was also responsible for selecting the food trucks that were available during the event, including Kona Ice, YoooCuzz, La Coqueta and Tha Cha Chak. She described the selection of these specific food trucks as a “process.”
Harley’s hard work paid off, because smiling faces and stuffed bellies could be seen all around. Kona Ice offered shaved ice, but allowed the students to select their own flavors through a dispenser on the side of the truck. Evidence of this truck’s popularity could be seen on multi-colored stained lips.
YoooCuz had a menu of chili dogs, mozzarella sticks and french fries. Throughout the campus mall and various lines, students could be heard ranting and raving about the salty and crispy fries, but even more so about the piping hot, cheesy mozzarella sticks accompanied by marinara sauce.
Next was a Food Truck Friday veteran, La Coqueta. This truck made street tacos with base options of either meat or vegetables to accommodate all diets. The plain corn tortilla was overflowing with the choice of base, diced tomatoes, onions, shredded lettuce and cilantro. As if the tacos weren’t filling enough, La Coqueta also provided each student with a side of street corn covered in a variety of powerful spices.
The fourth option was Tha Cha Chak, which offered a box stuffed to the brim with rice, choice of chicken or tofu, cooked zucchini and squash and topped with two spring rolls with two different sauces for dipping or spreading throughout the container. Though the longest line of the event was at this truck, many students expressed that it was worth the wait because it was so hot and filling.
Senior English major Elayna Badger said that she came to the event to take the pressure of having to cook herself dinner that night. While she was a little frustrated by the ticket system, the time in line gave her an idea to improve the event.
“It might have been better to have a booklet.” she said. “Like you show your ID and get a booklet of tickets to all four places. That way they can see that you’ve only got one from each place and you don’t have to get back in line.”
Badger also mentioned that she really appreciated how all of the food trucks were lined up one after the other in one location because she found it very annoying to do a “scavenger hunt” for food.
Rider students can appreciate the event, as it takes some stress off their busy schedules and they can mingle, relax and relish in delectable food options.