Café offers students nutrition, social scene

So you’re in college, but have you ever longed for that home cooked meal mom used to make?

Well, perhaps the cafeteria, affectionately known as “The Café”, could fulfill your special request.

Many college students tend to get caught up in their daily schedule of classes, homework, extra curricular activities, so who has time to eat right? This is where the café comes in handy.

“Through research, a balanced diet keeps students more healthy, focused, and helps them transition into the college experience,” said Terry Woodard, the general manager over food services.

Many people are not aware of all the nutritional options that are available in the café.

For instance, there is a full salad bar complete with romaine lettuce and 10-14 different toppings daily, up to several vegetarian entrees daily, the appropriate servings of meat and bread, as well as an international stir-fry section that includes pasta and rice dishes.

“Some food is okay, but the salad bar is the best,” said Brandi Winston, a freshman journalism student.

“I try to get to the café whenever I can. But the hours clash with my classes. The café is really only necessary if you run out food, because most of us all have fridges and microwaves.”

The University requires freshmen living in on-campus dormitories to purchase a meal plan. But are students missing the social importance of it?

Everyone knows that in the ancient days of high school, the cafeteria was not only a place to get your boxed milk and mashed vegetables, but one of social hierarchy, where you had the opportunity to mingle with friends in a casual setting and find out about the latest happenings on campus.

Although college is on a much larger scale, the social principles still stand.

“Students come to the café not only because of the food, but also because of the convenience,” said Atlanta native and senior psychology student Marvin Jones.

“Eating at the café and on campus in general makes it easier for students to socialize with other students and familiarize themselves with the campus.”

Although Woodard has been employed at the University only since August 1, he said he is aware that the café is not perfect and that there is always room for improvement. So, he has many new plans for the café.

“I plan on establishing a food service committee that will discuss things such as marketing, sanitation and operations,” Woodard said.

In his efforts to provide an educational experience to students by exposing them to different foods, he is planning a promotional activity called Route 66: Tour of America. During Route 66, the café will feature food displays from different parts of the country.

Woodard also urges students to aid in making improvements by completing the surveys that are available. Through the surveys students are able to voice their opinions on customer service, menus and dining services as a whole.

As students, we not only decide whether or not we choose to eat at the café, but how to make improvements that suit our food preferences.

So if you’re not happy make change and don’t forget to check out Route 66: Tour of America Sept. 19-23.

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