As an increased number of new students arrived on the University of Miami campus this fall semester, changes to different aspects of student life awaited them.
The Rathskeller, Mahoney-Pearson and Hecht-Stanford dining halls have made revisions to their facilities and services while all Resident Assistants (RAs) in the residential colleges and apartment areas were assigned roommates.
One of the factors that influenced the residential changes is an increase in the number of enrolled freshmen. Similarly, the number of undergraduate students who wanted to live on campus increased as well.
Steps therefore had to be taken in an attempt to accommodate all the students, especially the freshmen who are guaranteed on-campus housing.
RAs in all residential housing areas are currently being housed in double rooms and have been assigned temporary roommates.
In spite of the changes, a number of RAs and their roommates understand the situation and do not see it negatively.
“It was in our spring contract that temporary roommates could be possible if there was a housing situation,” said junior Ben Vipler, an RA in the Stanford Residential College.
He added that he thought the Department of Residence Halls is doing a good job dealing with the situation.
Vipler’s roommate, freshman Shawn Muncha, agreed.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Muncha said. “Our situation is not all that bad.”
Next week, RAs in the residential colleges should know if their roommates will be relocated to their own dormitories, although RAs in the apartment area will have to wait to see when their roommates will be reassigned.
Aside from the housing situation, there have also been changes made to the on-campus eateries.
In both dining halls on campus, menus and food presentations have undergone some modifications.
Deli sandwiches are now served in plastic deli baskets, while some other freshly made food items are served in skillets. Eggs are no longer left in hotel pans for 75 minutes at a time but instead are made fresh-to-order. New pita breads, sauces, meats and breakfast items are now available as well as a steaming machine for tortilla dishes.
To further the variety beyond these food items, Chartwells has replaced the Yellow Peppers food station with Bahia Flats in the Hecht-Stanford dining hall where brisket (among other cultural items) will be available.
“[Bahia Flats] expands Yellow Peppers to include traditional Southwestern items,” said Mel Tenen, assistant vice president of auxiliary services. “It is a more expansive menu students, we hope, will appreciate.”
The students have indeed noticed the food and lighting changes that Tenen and other members of the Chartwells staff have made to the dining areas.
“The overall experience is much brighter and friendlier, and the food tastes better,” junior Sedat Yelkin said.
Dejah Urbanovitch, a junior and transfer student from Calfornia State at Northridge, offered a comparative perspective of Chartwells.
“There are more options; their variety is good,” Urbanovitch said of Chartwells’ UM facilities. “The school I went to also [had] Chartwells, but this is better.”
Next week, Chartwells will present students with Balanced Choices, signs at each food station that detail the grams of protein, carbohydrates and the calorie count of the food being served.
In addition to the dining halls, the Rathskeller has also undergone some changes including ten new menu items, a closed circuit camera for performances and ID scanners that will be used to verify whether or not students are of legal drinking age.
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