Table-sharing initiative to take on Tazza D’Oro space issues

Since spring break, Tazza D’Oro has begun offering table-sharing placards, backed by a Student Senate initiative.

The placards, available at the counter in the center of Tazza D’Oro, indicate that a person is willing to share his or her table with a stranger. The initiative is based on similar table-sharing initiatives in some local cafés.

The Student Senate Business Affairs Committee, headed by second-year architecture student and CFA Senator Travis Rozich, chose Tazza D’Oro as a pilot location for the table-sharing program because of its popularity and manageable size.

“It’s a little smaller-scale,” said senior economics and statistics and decision science double major Will Weiner, who oversaw the program two years ago directly as Student Senate chair, and more remotely as student body president last year. “It’s a little bit easier to control, in terms of traffic, to pilot it.”

If table sharing goes well at Tazza D’Oro, Senate hopes to expand the program to the second floor of the University Center, where there have been space concerns.

So far, Rozich thinks the initiative is going well. “Every time I’ve been there I’ve seen people utilizing the program,” he said. Rozich said there was positive feedback to the original announcement of the program. “When we posted about table-sharing on the [Student Senate] Facebook with links to the article that we wrote on the Senate website, we had a lot of views — more views than we’ve had on our website,” he said. “We’ve had mostly positive support.”

According to Rozich, Student Senate will soon be passing out surveys at Tazza D’Oro to get feedback from students on the program.

If there is one obstacle to the table-sharing initiative, it may be lack of awareness.

Senior international relations and politics major Julie Kim, who comes to Tazza D’Oro two to three times a week, said that she would definitely share a table with someone who had put up a placard, and would probably pick up a placard herself — if she were aware of the program.

“I feel like I would,” Kim said. “I guess I didn’t know about it.” Not everyone is as comfortable with the idea as Kim. Biomedical engineering Ph.D. student Natasha Loghmanpour, who was also unaware of the table-sharing initiative, said that she would probably share a table with somebody who had picked up a placard. But as for picking one up herself? “Probably not,” Loghmanpour said. “It’s not my first choice, to be honest.”

But Weiner thinks that if these initial hurdles can be overcome, the program shows promise. “If it can get established and people accept that as the norm, it’ll be a good program,” Weiner said. “It will help space be utilized better.”