Food court’s change draws students

There’s a new food court on campus, and it’s causing students to flock from the traditional cafeteria food to the fast food likes of fried chicken, pizza and egg rolls.

Pizza Hut Express, KFC Express and Far East Fusion, a Chinese restaurant, are now serving food in the lower level of the Student Activities Center, and students are migrating from the main dining hall cafeteria – located on the second floor of the building – to the new Food Court as a result.

With most fast food restaurants beyond walking distance, students who live on campus had little option when they grew tired of traditional cafeteria food. Other than the Orange Room, which sells hamburgers, wings and deli sandwiches, FAMU has offered a limited food menu variety.

Students had little choice but to crowd into the cafeteria for their meals. The main hall seats 330 students, but the on-campus freshmen class alone consists of 2,147 students – most of whom have meal plans.

“I’ve had to come to the cafeteria early this year to avoid the crowd,” said Manounchka Merrin, 18, a biology premed student from Miami.

The traffic increased after the lower level was closed off to students for KFC and Pizza Hut construction. But ever since the restaurants opened on Oct. 23, business in the cafeteria is starting to slow down.

“The lines upstairs are thinning out with the opening of the Food Court,” said Sheldon Clark, a sophomore business administration student from Charlotte, N.C.

But Shelita Nelson, the general manager of dining, said employees have had to adjust to the changes in business, as students are leaving to eat in the Food Court and more are coming to the cafeteria because the Food Court restaurants do no accept meal plan tickets.

It is an issue that will have to be resolved in the future, but one that has already been brought to the SGA Senate’s attention.

Steven Jumper can be reach at