By Tristan Leach
n Oct. 1, Food Truck Friday, an event started last spring, made its official return for this school year, hosted by the Student Entertainment Council (SEC).
Among the vendors stationed around campus were Carnival Donuts, La Croqueta Tacos, HotPanada and Nomad Pizza.
Students were excited to see the tradition to return to campus. After over a year of being afraid to go out to grab food due to the pandemic, students could now find their favorite truck and sit with their friends. The sounds of excitement rang through the air of the event.
Though lines were long, dedicated students of each truck waited it out. This was true for HotPanada. The truck featured not only meat options but also vegan and vegetarian options. Empanadas have been a favorite of students at events this year. HotPanada’s truck featured a bell that students were encouraged to ring if they thought the service was exceptional.
To the surprise of no one, this bell was rung by almost every enthusiastic student. Sophomore arts and entertainment industries management major Rachel Seigerman said of the experience, “I think it’s a fun way to end the week, especially a very stressful week. It’s something to look forward to. It’s just enjoyable.”
At Nomad Pizza, students enjoyed fresh Margherita pizza. This truck was placed outside Gee Hall. Fairy lights hung from the canopy of the old-fashioned truck, creating a calming aura. Students enjoyed the fresh slices and the musical notes created by crickets.
Meanwhile, across campus in front of the Bart Luedeke Center, a long line of students waited for tacos by the parked La Croqueta Taco truck. A variety of favorites were available to students. This included chicken, shrimp, beef and Birria, a Mexican stew made with blended chile peppers and simmered with beef stew meat. Students who had finally secured their tacos sat on curbs, at tables or stood.
Carnival Donuts made its return for a second time this year. The truck served milkshakes topped with whipped cream and a donut, and students were more than happy to line up and satisfy their sweet tooth. Many students took their sweet treats on a walk around campus, checking out the other trucks with friends.
For many students, this was their first Food Truck Friday. With COVID still raging last semester, many did not come out for the experience.
Lindsay Sherman, a sophomore majoring in elementary education said, “I was very excited because I love free food, and I think Rider provided really great options with the food trucks.”
It is safe to say that many shared Sherman’s sentiments.
Students that had experienced the excitement last school year were happy to be sharing the experience with friends old and new. Junior Thomas Guzzo, a computer science major, said, “[It] feels so so good. I missed the one last year because I went home for the weekend.” Guzzo enjoyed two empanadas with his friends moments later.
The success and excitement of Food Truck Friday have students eagerly awaiting the next time trucks will appear on campus.