On the night of the 19th of February in the year of our Lord 2024, Java Junction started selling a new product: Java Dawgs. 

While this decision may have seemed convenient or simply “nice” at best, it was this night that I had the revelation of the pure ingenuity of this move — the ingenuity of the business strategies inconspicuously employed by Java Junction over the course of this last semester.

You see, starting this school year, Goshen College made the executive decision to renovate the Westlawn Dining hall, moving AVI’s culinary services to the Union Building.

This decision was fraught with a number of consequences: the pizza buffet was greatly reduced in scope and frequency, the utensils and crockery were replaced, and, most notably, the Leaf Raker was effectively vaporized. 

Where students were once able to spend Munch Money on snacks or meal swipes on meal replacements, there remains only those little sausage, egg and cheese burritos they sometimes leave between breakfast and lunch hours. And hey, those things are good, but they’re no chicken sandwich and fries combo right after a long convocation. Man, I miss the Fraker. 

Anyway, this vacuum of power left by the dissolution of the Leaf Raker did not go unnoticed by the masterminds across the tracks in the first-floor connector. Where the Frott now has a limited selection of soda fountain offerings, Java Junction presents students with chips and sodas for purchase. Where the Leaf Raker once offered sandwich-and-fries combos, Java Junction has a drink-and-bagel combo option. Where the Leaf Raker was, Java Dawgs are.

Now, whenever I feel like eating a snack (or a little treat) after some studying at the library, do I turn west toward the Frott? Do I stay stuck in the past, reminiscing over what was lost, awaiting a return to a golden age? Do I waste time thinking of a future where Westlawn is renovated and the Leaf Raker shares its joys once more — a future that I won’t live to see (shout out to my fellow seniors).

No. I turn east. I cross the tracks and march toward the first-floor connector. I stride toward progress, toward innovation, toward those little Dawgs. The sun may have set on the Leaf Raker in the West. But in the East — toward Java Junction — I think the sun has only just begun to rise.

Editor’s note: some of The Record’s staff stopped by for Java Dawgs last night to try some for ourselves. Stoltzfus wasn’t kidding — those things are unreal. Compliments to the chefs.