Big Changes at BSU
Newly Renovated Lucy Whatley Dinning Hall
By Clarese Alexander
Thompson Hospitality welcomes students, faculty, and staff with an improved dining facility for the Fall 2009 semester. Last week marked the opening ceremony for the newly renovated Lucy Whatley Dinning Hall. Warren Thompson, President of Thompson Hospitality, along with BSU President Mickey L. Burnim, participated by cutting the ribbon for the grand opening. The cafeteria was completely remolded to cater to the Bowie State University consumers in a fast and efficient way.
The need for more available seating and space for food layouts sparked the idea for a change. The remodeling of the cafeteria was a two-month process. According to District Manager Dina Zaikouk, "There was a need for a more customer friendly environment." The conditions before did not allow the options for students to see the staff cook the food, food was always brought out. Since there were only a couple of stations, the lines were always crowded and did not make the environment safe in case of an emergency. With a $1.5 million budget, Thompson Hospitality plans to also remodel the Bulldog Café, Bowie's Loop, and Marvelous Market, which was formally known as the C-Store. These renovations are expected to be finished by September 11, 2009.
All meals are still selected using a "cycle menu" by monitoring the types of food that are favored by students, faculty and staff. Meals that are consumed the most, stay on the menu. You can also make suggestions by logging on to Bowie State University's website, or Facebook, and by dropping comments in the cafeteria suggestion box.
Bowie State University students reacted to the changes in awe. Junior Janel West said she thought that the renovation was very nice and unexpected. "I was kind of shocked, but it gave the cafeteria a more sophisticated college look." Travis Hymes also a junior said, "When I first saw the cafeteria, I thought it was renovated well and the appearance looked much cleaner." Senior Director of Auxiliary Services, John E. Cunningham, Jr., expresses that other small changes were made to enhance the presentation of the cafeteria, such as bright colors to liven up the atmosphere and pictures of the alumni on the walls.
Aside from the remodeling, Thompson Hospitality has implemented new changes in the menu, offering more sandwich options and the continuation of "soul food" Wednesdays. Bogo (buy on get one) week is also a new program that allows cash and credit card users, the ability to bring a friend in the Lucy Whatley Dinning Hall to dine free. This will start next week. With the help of the Student Government Association, programs will also be held about once a month in the cafeteria.