By Sarah Carlson, Copy Editor
A kitchen was installed into the communal lobby area of Smith and Adams residence halls during the summer, where ARAMARK will provide meals three times a day for residents.
Dr. Mimi Barnard, director of Residence Life Education and Housing, said the decision to install the kitchen came from requests from students and was made by herself, Kevin Watson, chief administrative services officer, and ARAMARK.
“Students are excited about having this expanded lobby space and function,” Barnard said in an e-mail.
Todd Ormsby, residence director for Smith and Adams halls, said the idea for the kitchen originally came from students complaining about having to go back to campus at night to eat at the Bean.
“Parents have already been real excited about it because being off campus, one of the biggest complaints is having to go all the way back to the Bean at night to eat,” Ormsby said. “Even for ladies walking it is a security issue having to walk, and now they can just come down here and eat dinner.”
Residents will have access to a variety of foods and can use meal plans and Bean Bucks as they would on campus.
Ormsby said they have not decided exactly what type of food will be served or what format it will be served in. He said they will experiment will a buffet style of serving and with items such as bacon and eggs in the morning.
A possibility of polling students to see what they would like to eat is an option, Ormsby said, and students will be able to eat in the lobby, outside in front of the halls on the picnic tables or in the back, or even up in their rooms. Other students visiting their friends in Smith and Adams halls will also be welcome to utilize the kitchen.
“I think it’s going to be an asset also it’s going to help build community for here so people can stay here and eat together,” Ormsby said. “Scripture even says people sit together and eat together build community together.”
Josh Edwards, graduate student in Bible from Owasso, Okla., and spiritual life advisor for Adams Hall, said he thinks the kitchen was designed well and will be convenient for the residents.
“I think Dr. Barnard was very wise in many of her choices, especially the refrigerator and the stove,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be really good for the community of Smith-Adams, and people are going to be able to come down here and cook and hang out.”
He said it is also helpful for students who do not have cars, like many international students, to not have to walk to campus every time they want a meal.
“Overall, I think it’s very good and I think that they’ll have good business here too,” Edwards said.
Nick Meyer, sophomore chemistry major from Roundrock, said the new kitchen looks nice and he plans to take advantage of the proximity of it.
“It’s a lot better to just to walk a few feet into the kitchen the have to go all the way to campus for meals.” Meyer said.
Other changes made to residence halls this summer include new bathrooms, paint and carpeting in Smith Hall, a remodeled student kitchen in Sikes Hall, new furniture in the West lobby of Gardner Hall, new paint and carpet in the lobby of McDonald Hall and new windows, several new AC units and painted exterior of Morris Hall.
Barnard said the new residence hall across Campus Court would have a coffee and sandwich shop managed by ARAMARK. The building will not have a kitchen students can use, but will have a microwave and refrigerator unit in each room.