Linda Smith, News Editor
University of Dallas students, faculty, administration members and Aramark staff gathered outside the Haggar Café on Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the renovated cafeteria.
A major part of a campus-wide renovation project undertaken over the summer, the cafeteria renovations are perhaps the most noticeable improvements that were made. They included not only a new layout for the serving area, but also a digital sign at the entrance, nutrition information at each station and a variety of new food options.
The ceremony began with a blessing from Deacon Larry Harmon. Harmon praised the work and labor put into the construction of the cafeteria, and then blessed the hands of the cafeteria workers who prepare and serve the food.
President Thomas Keefe followed with a few words about the significance of this event for the university. He emphasized that UD is not only “the best-kept secret” in higher education, but that it is a secret that need not be so well–kept. Students should openly praise their school to others, especially after such improvements to our university, Keefe said.
The ribbon was then cut, and students filed into the cafeteria as music played, free food and prizes were given away and a cake in Aramark colors, blue and white, topped off the celebration.
“The decorations in the cafeteria were a nice touch,” sophomore Erika Demel said. “The free T-shirts were also really cool!”
The improvement process has not necessarily ended; food service Director Darren St. Romain and the rest of the food services staff will continue to turn student
advice and requests into new developments in the cafeteria.
“We also have ongoing research through our semiannual DiningStyles Survey taking place right now to gauge how tastes and preferences continue to change, so we have a constant understanding of where we are headed,” Romain said.
The short celebration marked the culmination of a summer’s worth of construction to bring the wishes of students to fruition.
“Since the entire renovation process started with customer research, we hope that students see that their feedback was taken into account when developing the new facility,” Romain said.
“We held focus groups with students, faculty, staff and customers and our plan was crafted around what we heard to make sure we are serving and providing nutritious meals that fit our customers’ lifestyles.”
“It was hugely important,” Romain said. “Everything we do is for our students, faculty and staff, and we worked with them to plan our celebration activities. We had a great time and feel students walked away very happy.”