New dining plans for campus life

In previous years students had the option of dining at the Café, the Rattler’s Nest and the Orange Room. Now that the Orange Room is closed, due to construction in the Commons, many students are wondering when it will be re-opened.

Because of its convenient location some students had the opportunity to stop for quick meals and drinks in between classes.

Austin Archer, 19, a business management student from Rockledge, Fla., said the closing of the Orange Room conflicts with students’ schedules.

“Since the Orange Room is closed people have to walk all the way to the Café,” Archer said. “Before people got out of class, went to the Orange Room for five minutes, and went to their next class.”

Accessibility is not the only thing students miss about the Orange Room.

Amanda Andrews, 20, a elementary education student from Orlando is also disappointed with having one less venue for eating on campus.

“It was very convenient,” Andrews said. ” Now people have to go out of their way to eat and stand in unnecessary long lines.”

Xiajerae Callier, 19, a pre-pharmacy student from Orlando, said she misses the social aspect of the Orange Room and if the Orange Room was still open she would get a meal plan just to eat there.

“I hate that it’s closed. The Orange Room was a place you could go eat with your friends and not have to walk far from your classes,” Callier said.

Despite the ill feelings students have about the Orange Room closing, there are some potential proposals that could change the face of dining services at Florida A&M University.

Terry Woodard, general manager of FAMU’s dining services, said students should look forward to dining services because a change is coming.

Woodard and the food service committee have proposed plans for state of the art dining facilities throughout campus.

“We are really into trying to make something happen,” Woodward said. “We are working with the University to provide a dining outlet for students.”

Some of those plans include an a la carte station for Palmetto residents, an on campus convenience store opened from 5p.m. until 12a.m., a complete renovation of the Café and a Starbucks at the college of engineering.

“The future of dining services at FAMU will be exceptional,” Woodard said. “What we are proposing to do is come up with a four restaurant food court on the set.” The food court on the set would include a Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Sky Ranch Grill and a pizza parlor called Pete’s Arena.

The proposed renovation for the Café will include a global market place where students can experience different types of food that will be prepared right in front of them.

Woodard said he is excited about the future plans of dining services. He also said that a contract is on the table and it will be a part of the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting. Woodard said as soon as the contract is signed the work will begin.

“When we finish this program we will have one of the flashiest [dining service] programs, especially among HBCUs,” Woodard said.