StormSurge Cafe in store for improvements

The University Center [UC] is a hub where students can go to grab a bite to eat, check e-mail between classes or simply relax.

Slight changes are already under way, however, to make this meeting place even more appealing and accessible to students.

Since its opening last January, students have flocked to the newest area of the UC, known as the StormSurge Cafe, to take advantage of the facility.

“I go to the cafe because it’s a fun and useful place on campus,” sophomore James Richards said. “I can pick up something to eat and hang out with friends between classes.”

The new area features new Brunswick pool tables, ping-pong tables, a cafe and an e-center.

The e-center in particular has become extremely popular. Students can easily check their e-mail, search the net or send instant messages to friends.

The convenience of the e-center, however, has often resulted in long lines just to access the one of only eight computers currently available in the center.

“The wait is a deterrence, but it’s good having them. It makes it easier to check e-mail or quickly send an instant message,” senior Gilbertson Cuffy said.

Plans to install additional computers are already under way.

“The e-center is always busy. We originally started out with six computers and added an additional two computers,” Dan Westbrook, associate director of the UC, said. “We’re currently in the process of adding an additional two computers as well as two more by the information desk bringing the total number to 12 computers.”

Recently, guidelines have been posted to regulate the usage time for each student.

“We’re relying on students to police themselves. It’s obviously unacceptable for students to play computer games when other individuals are waiting to use the computers. Discretion should therefore be considered,” Westbrook said.

The StormSurge Cafe, whose menu features brewed coffee, bagels, pastries, sandwiches and soups, has also made changes to their line-up and hours.

“The cafe is catered by Chartwells and the food service company is constantly tweaking their menu to offer new choices,” Westbrook said. “The response has been overwhelming.”

“We review our menus each month and make decisions on changes based on popularity,” Greg Moran, director of Retail Operations, said. “We also do guest surveys to solicit suggestions from students and faculty.”

“So far the feedback has been good, especially comments regarding the quality of the panini sandwiches and the to-order salads,” Morgan said.

Additional plans are also in the works to improve the cafe’s decor and to install a quality sound equipment.

“We’re already moving forward with decor plans. We’re hoping to upholster the hard stools to make them a bit more comfortable,” says Westbrook. “We’ll also be installing a professional sound system to host possible events such as open mike nights.”

In addition to these suggested plans, the Force Five Convenience Store is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to better accommodate the needs of students.

“We are always open for suggestions or ideas because the UC is first and foremost available for the students,” Westbrook said.

Hours of operation for the game room and e-center are Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.- 2 a.m.; Friday 8 a.m- midnight; Saturday 11 a.m.- midnight; Sunday 11 a.m.- 2 a.m.

The StormSurge Cafe is opened Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.- 2 a.m.; Friday 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.- 2 a.m.

All of the proposed changes are scheduled to be completed by the end of the semester.

September 17, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.