Students Want More Eating Options

Campuses around the country are taking their campus food services to the next level but most HBCUs still have standard dining services.

George Mason University recently added a Damon’s Bar and Grill to their list of dining services. This restaurant is open to students and faculty seven days a week and until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Michael Galvin, Director of Marketing & Community Affairs for Sodexho at George Mason said they added a restaurant becauase, “We were looking to add something for the campus community, we needed to bring something that we would consider from the outside world.” He also wanted a place where the older students of the university could bring their families and unwind.

Nevertheless, one thing that separates this campus and many others from the rest is not just the fact that they have these sit-down restaurants, but they also serve alcohol. Clemson University in South Carolina has a Chilis II restaurant, which also sells alcohol.

Soedxho, “the leading food and facilities management services company in North America,” provides Howard University in Washington, D.C. with their dining services but a sit-down restaurant that serves alcohol is not on campus.

When asked when these restaurants might spread to other campuses Galvin said, “The kinds of brands on campus will really depend on what the university wants from a food service provider, it should be accessible and desirable and fit well with the student populations.”

However, Nia Erin, a student at Spelman University in Atlanta, GA wonders why her school has not stepped into the new age of dining.

“I realize that we don’t have room on our campus and these restaurants would be great to have on campus, I wonder when HBCUs are going to step into the new millennium like there majority counterparts. All we have is a grill,” Erin said.

Howard’s food services also include “The Punchout,” that has a Sky Ranch Grill, which mainly serves burgers and french-fries, Pandini’s, an Italian food eatery, and Chick-Fil-A, a national fast food restaurant.

Some students at Howard like Julius Johnson still feel cheated.

“I think it’s a shame that these other institutions are able to provide an atmosphere in which students can have the choice of eating a professionally prepared meal on campus and we don’t have that option,” he said.

However, Danielle Steele from Morgan State University, who has alternative eating options such as Chick-Fil-A, Thompson’s Bake Shop and Mike’s Grill on his campus other than the required dining hall, feels campus funds should be redirected to others areas.

“I don’t think that we should have alcohol on this campus, I don’t think it is a necessity, we don’t need alcohol, what we need is better facilities,” said Steele.