Long lines result from more meals demanded

Students who plan to grab a meal at the university food court can prepare for longer lines thanks to a hike in meal plan purchases.

According to Terry Woodard, general manager of FAMU’s dining services, 2,888 meals plans have been brought this year.

That’s nearly 300 more meal plans purchased compared to last semester.

More meal plans translate to longer lines, a process students are becoming disenchanted with.

Third year business student, Olga King, 20, from Gary, Ind., said she did not get a meal plan this year because she wanted to avoid inconvenient waits.

“I don’t have enough time to wait in lines,” King said.

Woodard said lack of efficient equipment for food services such as Pizza Hut Express, has contributed to long lines as well. It takes seven minutes for a maximum of four pizzas to cook in the oven.

“There are more students on the meal plan…we have enough people, not enough output with the demand,” Woodard said.

Cassandra Gaskins, 18, a first year general studies student from Palm Beach, Fla., said she usually waits 30 minutes in line to order a pizza and 10 to 15 minutes after the order is placed.

“There should be a separate line for people to order (buffalo)wings and another for those ordering pizza,” Gaskins suggests. “If it’s express why is it going slow?”

“The lines will get worse,” said Marcus Wilson, 18, a first year physical therapy student from Palm Bay, Fla.

“This is only the second week of school everyone is going to start coming and will have to wait,” Wilson said.

Despite some complaints other students are happy with their decision to head for the café for meals.

Keosha Poole, 21, a senior business administration student from Winter Haven, Fla., bought a commuter plan for the first time this year due to convenience.

“Gas prices went up and it’s easier for me to stay on campus to eat,” Poole said.

Meal plans are required for students who reside in dormitories and cost $1,405.Woodard said he expects more students to invest in them.

“The meal plan is not just for freshman, but commuters too…more returning students are purchasing meal plans,” Woodard said.

926 commuter students have bought meal plans compared to last fall semester’s 758.

Commuter meal plans and Flex Bucks, options for those who do not live on campus range from $25 to $725 depending on the number of meals purchased.

Waiting in line could taper this spring semester when the former Orange Room, located on The Set, will officially open Dec. 15.

The new Grill 155 will serve American food, while SubConnection Magic, a Magic Johnson-inspired sub service, will serve sub sandwiches.

The opening of the new food service will help “some lines die down” in the Food Court, Woodard said. Students will also be more conscious of spending toward the middle of the semester, which means less people and shorter lines, according to Woodard.

He also suggests the university should reconsider the time schedule for classes “to help the flow of everybody.” If everyone is let out at the same time, then more people will be at the food court, Woodard said.

For more information, go to www.famudining.com