Khator visits Moody dining hall as Harvey looms
Students eating at the University’s Moody Towers Dining Hall received a surprise visit from President Renu Khator just after 1 p.m. Saturday as she checked in with remaining residents waiting out the threat of Hurricane Harvey.
Moody, which is committed to remaining open for those left on campus, welcomed Khator as she enthusiastically greeted students in the crowded cafeteria, posing for selfies and asking about their well-being. The dining hall, run by Chartwells district manager David Riddle, was operating at full-capacity with all food stations open.
Khator and the students appeared confident in the measures taken to prepare for the worst, as she ensured a group of resident assistants that soon they will be “screaming for class.”
“I think they are at ease,” said Khator of the students dining. “I was here yesterday as well when classes were cancelled around one o’clock, and students were fine then and they look fine now.”
If the University were to experience a mandatory evacuation or other emergency procedures, action would be taken immediately.
“We have worked hard,” Khator said. “We never want to put our emergency system completely in motion, we hope we never get to that point, but I feel like we’re very well-prepared.”
Riddle, as manager of the dining hall, also has prepared to the best of his ability, making sure that the kitchen is stocked with “stable, shelf-safe foods” that won’t require refrigeration or electricity to prepare.
“If we lose the power then we’d probably lose the gas. You can’t cook unless the gas is running,” Riddle said, but box lunches have been prepared for students and staff should a power outage occur.
He said his utmost priority is “to make sure that everybody gets fed.”
Khator is waiting out the hurricane at her home, the Wortham House in the Museum District, but will continue to visit the campus to check on students throughout the course of the weekend.