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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2017

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An eagle experience: the dining hall difference

An eagle experience: the dining hall difference

By JORDAN SCHULTZ

The hustle and bustle patterns of campus have changed drastically this
year with the addition of the newly opened University Center.

Returning students remember how insanely busy the Nest used to be
around common meal times. The lengthy lines often prevented students
from receiving their food in a timely manner, resulting in mad dashes
to class with whatever food they could grab.

The fight for a table was even worse. Usually, it was a good idea to
send someone who did not have class right before to sit at a table and
save it for those coming from class.

The University Center is supposed to help accommodate this in the size
of the dining facilities on the fourth floor and give students a
variety of dining options from a stir-fry station to the grill to an
italian station. As well as a Jamba Juice and Qdoba’s on the second
floor.

This “shiny new toy” on campus has everyone from students to faculty
wanting a peek; to try out the food, the chairs, the meeting rooms, or
simply just to explore the spacious building with friends. Even in its
almost finished state, moving into offices, some things still wrapped
up in plastic, etc., many people still flock through its doors every
day since its opening.

To new students, both transfer students and freshmen, who make up a
large portion of the student body, the long lines at the Nest mean
very little. To them, the Nest is is home to Vocelli’s and Simply
ToGo. They have never fought the lines.

As a junior, I felt the same as many returning students, I wanted to
check out this new building and the fourth floor dining hall. Three of
my friends and I decided to eat lunch there last week after class. We
made our way up the empty stairs. There was little to no line to swipe
your EagleOne card once we got to the top.

We entered the dining hall just after noon and started wandering
around, searching for a table that could accommodate a small party of
four. We searched from end to end. Even checking the room in the wing
as well as the balcony. There was not an empty table to be found.

We searched the entire floor for about 20 minutes until I was
approached by a student who was sitting with her friend eating their
lunch in a corner booth.

She noticed we were looking for a table asked if we needed a place to
eat. It was then that she explained that it was just her and one of
her fiends in the corner booth that can hold six to eight people. She
then offered up the rest of their table to us. I was floored. I
thanked her profusely. She pointed out the table and I assured her we
would be right over.

I was last to put my bag down, and I thanked them again and asked if
they were new to UMW. They said yes. They were freshmen and commuters
from Stafford and this was their first time in the dining hall as well.

As I stood there looking around at my fellow students and then at the
two new students enjoying the benefits of our new University Center, I
was struck by fierce pride to be an Eagle. Our beautiful campus and
lovely new buildings are not what make the University of Mary
Washington great. It is the people who live and work and learn here
everyday, that make UMW the wonderful university that it is.

According to the help desk in The University Center, the building is open:

MondayThursday 7am – 12pm
Friday 7am – 1am
Saturday 7am – 12:30am
Sunday 7am – 11:30pm

According to the brochure at the help desk:
The fourth floor dining hall is open:
MondayThursday 7am – 8pm
Friday 7am – 7pm
Saturday and Sunday
Continental breakfast 9:30am – 11am
Brunch 11am – 2pm
Dinner 5pm – 7pm

Jamba Juice and lil Joes:
MondayFriday 7:30am – 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 7pm

Qdoba:
MondayFriday 11am – 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 7pm

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