By Tanner Anderson, Page Editor
Students will have more culinary-consuming competition this weekend with family, friends and alumni who will attend the 2009 Sing Song shows.
Every day after Chapel, masses of hunger-crazed students stampede toward the “World Famous Bean” and the Hilton Food Court. Those leading the charge are the lucky ones; they successfully stomp out their hunger pains with ease, while others have to patiently wait for sustenance.
Many students take part in this lunch ritual, trying to beat the rush before fulfilling their scholastic obligations.
“The big lunch rush hits after Chapel, and it’s always packed,” said Taylor Sturgis, senior finance major from Plano. “I usually wait until 12:15 p.m. and go to Chick-Fil-A, but sometimes you have to wait because they don’t have food. The only change that I would like to see is more staff.”
Although the Campus Center dining areas may have some minor setbacks, these hiccups are not large enough to cause most students to eat elsewhere.
“If I come in [the food court], there’s usually one person working the register,” said Brianna Bowman, sophomore communication major from Marble Falls. “There’s a slight line, but nothing too ridiculous.”
ACU is preparing to accommodate both Sing Song visitors and students by extending hours and menus at the Hilton Food Court, the Bean and The Campus Store. The Campus Store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for lunch, the food court will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bean will have a wider variety of foods at a lower price for Saturday’s guests.
“It has been a constant challenge to create and maintain an operation that will meet the students’ standards,” said Anthony Williams, chief auxiliary officer. “The last class has been larger than the previous, and we’ve really noticed an increase of usage in the dining hall.”
To quell the hunger storm, the Bean and food court area will see an increase of staff during the weekend.
“When we have more traffic, we meet that obstacle with more staffing,” Williams said. “The exodus I call Chapel puts an unbelievable head count in the span of a 10-20 minute time period. We serve around 700 students for lunch, and half of that number enters around 11:30 to 11:50 a.m. There’s not a restaurant in Abilene that operates with that dynamic.”
Although Williams said he is pleased with the transformation of the dining facilities around campus, future plans are in the works to improve the students’ experiences.
“I feel pretty good with the last two years with the creation of the food court and the Bean renovation,” Williams said. “But we still have not arrived. We are still looking for ways to modify these areas and plans to execute them.”