Tag Archives: campus center

Usdanistan!

Today, Xue and I went to check out Usdanistan. When we got there, Timothy Shiner graciously took us on a tour of the facility. Here’s what we saw:

…looook. The vending machines….you can swipe your cards….how cool…

See all of our pics here.

Sorry we don’t have much to say about it today. We’ve had a really, really, really long day. But we’re very, very, very excited and you should be, too.

Bon Appetit/WSA respond, a.k.a. How to Bitch Constructively

I am just going to copy and paste this e-mail we received from Emily Malkin ’08, WSA vice prez .

Anyway, the WSA chair of the Finances and Facilities Committee (Becky Weiss ’10) forwarded the Wesleying posts about dining/usdan on to Dean Rick Culliton, who’s the new director of the Usdan Center. He responded with a few emails. Here are his responses to some of the big things:

  • “The changes to the dining program came largely as a result of student input from the WSA’s concept of dining and the new facilities that are coming online in the fall. The move from 12 meals a week to 8 meals a week came as the result of many first students asking for greater flexibility in when and where they eat. So the plan that was developed was to give 1st and 2nd year students more points with 8 meals per week and that is what Bon Appetit has rolled out.”
  • “In terms of late night hours Aramark kept Summerfields open until 1:30AM 7 nights a week last year but the grill closed at 1AM. Because the Usdan Center is open until 2AM on weekends, and 1AM on weekdays Late night dining will essentially be open until 2AM (grill closing at 1:30AM on Friday and Sat) and late night will be open until 1AM the other days of the week with the grill closing at 12:30AM. The weekend hours will be open 30 minutes later with Bon Appetit and weekday hours will close 30 min earlier.”
  • “Bon Appetit does not have any plans to reduce staffing.”

We know that some students have some concerns about Bon Appetit and the new campus center, and we really want you Wesleying folks (and everyone) to know that the more feedback people give us WSA people, the more we’ll be able to convey those concerns into actual change. So far, Bon Appetit has seemed really receptive to student input; the new marketing director at Bon Appetit has gotten in touch with some of the WSA executive committee members and she seems really interested in working with students. A dining committee (made up of students, staff, and administrators) is going to be meeting weekly in the fall, so if anyone has any questions about that, feel free to email Becky Weiss at rweiss@wes or Mike Pernick ’10 (the new chair of the WSA’s Student Affairs Committee) at mpernick@wes

If anyone has any questions/comments/concerns about Bon Appetit, the new Usdan center, or anything campus related in general, you can also contact me at emalkin@wes or Matt Ball, the WSA prez at mball@wes. He’s in Yemen right now, so his email accessibility is a little sketchy (which is why i’m sending this email, not him).

Also, I realized as I’m writing this that we never sent you guys a list of who’s actually on the WSA executive committee for 2007-2008. So, here’ s who’s who on the WSA for next year:

President: Matt Ball ’08 (mball@wes)
Vice-President: Emily Malkin ’08 (emalkin@wes)
Coordinator: Izaak Orlansky ’08 (iorlansky@wes)
Treasurer/Chair of the Student Budget Committee: Gianna Palmer ’10 (gpalmer@wes)
Chair of the Educational Policy Committee: Sam Ruth ’08 (sruth@wes)
Chair of the Student Affairs Committee: Mike Pernick ’10 (mpernick@wes)
Chair of the Finance and Facilities Committee: Becky Weiss ’10 ( rweiss@wes)
Chair of the Community Outreach Committee: Inslee Coddington ’10 (icoddington@wes)

Okay, now let’s take a look at Dean Rick Culliton’s responses.

  • “The changes to the dining program came largely as a result of student input from the WSA’s concept of dining and the new facilities that are coming online in the fall. The move from 12 meals a week to 8 meals a week came as the result of many first students asking for greater flexibility in when and where they eat. So the plan that was developed was to give 1st and 2nd year students more points with 8 meals per week and that is what Bon Appetit has rolled out.”

Now, I agree with him that the 8 meals-a-week offers more flexibility than the previous meal options…I mean, when I was a frosh, we had 10 meals a week and 150 points for the entire semester. The key phrase here: WHEN I WAS A FROSH. Now, we were always told that the main purpose of the mandatory freshman meal plan was to encourage us all to eat in the same place. So why make the sophomores do the same thing? Making freshman meal plans more flexible but sophomore meal plans less flexible is not an even trade-off.

  • “Bon Appetit does not have any plans to reduce staffing.”

Again, my concern was not Bon Appetit reducing staffing but the lack of transparency in its decision-making and future plans. The staffing concern was an example cited in the Argus article.

  • “In terms of late night hours Aramark kept Summerfields open until 1:30AM 7 nights a week last year but the grill closed at 1AM. Because the Usdan Center is open until 2AM on weekends, and 1AM on weekdays Late night dining will essentially be open until 2AM (grill closing at 1:30AM on Friday and Sat) and late night will be open until 1AM the other days of the week with the grill closing at 12:30AM. The weekend hours will be open 30 minutes later with Bon Appetit and weekday hours will close 30 min earlier.”

This isn’t even true. The grill at Summerfields Late Night did not close at 1AM!! Last call was 1:30, then the doors closed and everyone was asked to leave at 2AM. And besides, this doesn’t at all address the actual concern that Usdan will still be closing half an hour earlier on weekdays…Or Weshop reverting back to its highly unpopular weekend schedule. Why??

Anyways, that’s my two cents (more like cent-and-a-half?). Talk to us, talk to them, just talk.

Shiny New Boxes

Oh wow! Check out our new mail boxes that we don’t have to share anymore! No more sifting through your boxmate’s neverending supply of magazines or feeling bad about how many more packages she gets than you do–YES! And maybe, just maybe, the package line won’t obstruct the mail-getting process…oh man. I have such small but mighty hopes for my mail box this year.

– Previous: Find out your new box number.

Usdanistan Update

If you’re a frequent visitor to Wesleyan’s website (like we are) then you’ve noticed their subtle announcement of the new campus center’s existence. They’re excited:

Click here to see detailed project information and the latest CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS!” (emphasis theirs).

From the policies, you can see that in many ways the new campus center is actually less about students and more about offering prospective families a sanitized, pretty building to look at the moment they start their tour and surely no tour will end without a trip to the new Broad Street “Annex” filled with “Wesleyan gear.” The expressed ban of all banners or posters (a predominant feature of the campus center, to be sure) bolsters my claim:

Decorations, posters, banners, etc may not be attached to the walls, ceilings, glass or other surfaces of the Usdan University Center without the express written consent of the University Center staff (emphasis mine).

I’m honestly not trying to be cynical about this new building. I really want it to be awesome. It’s just after two years of promises of better food, more social space, etc made in the shadow of the noisy construction (which I was so privileged to live next to sophomore year), I guess I’m just underwhelmed with the delivery. You could honestly say I’m a bit displeased with the premature marketing of a campus center no student has been able to use yet as a “hub” of campus activity. It’s sort of like they’re forcing us to use it the way most convenient for them, hoping that we’ll go along with whatever the architect envisioned our social habits to be. Sadly, with Bon Appetit doing its damnedest to ignore almost all student suggestions in order to emulate Aramark’s failings with startling precision, I’m less–let’s say–optimistic about the new campus center than I once was.

By the way, if you’re as t’d off as we are about Bon Appetit, please, oh lord, please, by all means, use your free time to construct a beautifully written letter to this guy. Let him know about what “late night” actually means. Or how you feel about having no non-a-la-carte (aka expensive) options for lunch. Or basically anything. Maybe the food is knock-you-on-your-ass terrific. Maybe. But already they’re mirroring many of the problems the student body had with Aramark. Not off to a fine start, in my opinion.

Delmar Crim
Resident District Manager
delmar.crim@cafebonappetit.com

Let us know what you say. CC it to use at Wesleying@gmail.

My Kingdom for a Waffle House

Professor Finn–quite possibly the only person on this campus with a degree in the culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute–writes in censuring the powers that be for their shortsightedness in designing the new campus center. In all their planning, they have neglected quite possibly the most important thing–a Waffle House. He sends along these sentiments from a Georgian school newspaper:

Fellow students, I have a dream, a love, an intolerable, burning desire for a Waffle House on our campus, and I know I’m not alone on this.

I know there are many of you reading this who, like myself, grew up in boring suburbs with nothing better to do many nights than chill out at the local “WaHo.” If it weren’t for Waffle House’s permanent open-door policy, lord only knows what kind of mischief my friends and I may have gotten ourselves into. Arson. Burglary. Maybe even crack addictions. Folks, Waffle House may have saved my life, and I want it to save more.

It’s a cafe without the pretension. It’s Cheers without the alcohol. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever you want it. It’s a Georgia icon for crying out loud, and, doggone it, it’s what this campus needs.

Though, realistically, I don’t know how Wesleyan would survive without a cafe of pretension pi.

Bathrooms Repainted

Quite possibly the most written-on bathroom wall on campus, the women’s bathroom on the first floor of the campus center, has been painted over during break.

I don’t know whether this breaks anyone’s heart or not. Do you think people get as attached to bathroom graffiti as they do to the stuff in the butt tunnels?

Another Saturday party

There’s a party at the Campus Center ground floor this Saturday, September 23rd, from 10pm-4am. The huge banner says free drinks (I’ll assume non-alcoholic) and a DJ. There is some theme that is too complicated for me to recall right now, but having never been at a party that used the Campus Center as a venue, I’m curious.