UC Dining Services opens its doors

Student Government Association President Cedric Bandoh poses with Ronald McDonald during a fun-filled day at the Dining Services' open house.

Student Government Association President Cedric Bandoh poses with Ronald McDonald during a fun-filled day at the Dining Services’ open house.  |  Emily S. Chambers/The Daily Cougar

Door prizes, raffles, a shoe car and restaurant mascots — including Ronald McDonald and the Chick-Fil-A cow — were all on scene to celebrate the University Center Dining Services’ official launch Wednesday.

The occasion was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an open house and comes just two weeks after the UC opened its doors to students and faculty. The events, which took place in the food court, highlighted the variety of choices students now have when deciding where to eat at the University. Retail Food Service Director Misty Pierce said the ceremony was a way to acknowledge and show appreciation to the student body.

“I think that this is the best way for us to give back to the students and the most exciting way to introduce the brands to campus,” Pierce said. “It’s also to thank the students for bearing with us through 18 months of chaos and letting us introduce it. That’s kind of what it means to us.”

Some of the most notable prizes included several iPad minis, bicycles, skateboards and a Samsung Galaxy S3, which were donated by McDonalds, Panda Express and Chick-Fil-A. Health senior Jessica Harris said she was excited about the prizes and the New UC in general.

“My favorite part about the food court is the open atmosphere. In the old UC, the food places were separate from the eating places and it just looked dull and dingy,” Harris said. “Now it’s brighter, and it seems more of a social environment.”

Student Government Association President Cedric Bandoh and Aramark Resident District Manager Geoffrey Herbert kicked off the ceremony with a congratulatory speech, which praised the efforts of the UC Dining Services’ team and explained how the UC idea was conceived. Herbert described the planning of the UC food court as a “crazy brick-and-mortar dream.” Bandoh said he is extremely proud of the New UC.

“I’m really excited because students really deserve a Tier One University Center, and going through this transformation, they now finally have it,” Bandoh said. “Students invested in this with the UC fee that we all pay. So I definitely think that this a really good return on their investment.”

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