The Seton Hall bells ring with change and improvement and John Signorello, associate vice president of Facilities and Operations, and Michael Garcia, director of Internal Audit, shed some light on why some of these changes were made and how they are holding up.
The first changes that were discussed were those that came to the University Center. Signorello said the University expanded the cafeteria, took out some counters on the commuter side and put more booths in, while it also added booths and seating to the Cove and the Living Room.
“We were trying to alleviate the problem of overcrowding,” Signorello said. “We made improvements on the cash side, I don’t want to say commuter because everyone eats there.”
Signorello said by adding extra furniture in places other than the cafeteria, he hopes people will “spread out.” Tim Hoffman, Student Government Association president, said he noticed a lot more people spending time in the Living Room this year. Signorello said the sushi station being located in the Cove was another initiative to get people to eat there; sushi has always been served at the university, now there is just someone serving it.
The next plan of action for the Cove is to get new blinds that will open from the top and bottom to increase sunlight, according to Signorello. “So it doesn’t look like such a cave,” he said.
Another response to a student complaint of the cafeteria hours being too short was to increase sandwich options with Thumann’s brand cold cuts. Sandwiches are bigger and some can be heated up if stored in a refrigerator, such as the paninis, according to Signorello.
“We were wondering about the Thumann’s sandwiches because they’re about a buck more, but we haven’t heard negative feedback,” he said.
Signorello added that those sandwiches are made according to student requests, meaning if a student wants a certain type of sandwich to be made, they can tell the Food Council and the university can look into making it. Hoffman also encouraged students to come to SGA to discuss requests or complaints.
Another way the university decided to spice up the variety of the food options was by putting a feature food location where the Carvel counter (on the former commuter cafeteria side) used to be. Signorello said this will be the permanent location for a different, new food item each day to be featured, compared to last year where a table was set up in the cafeteria to serve the same purpose.
“I like to eat chicken fingers everyday too, but some days I like to switch it up,” he said. “There’s more room for more options and different options.”
Garcia said he met with Gourmet Dining Services (GDS) to discuss the feedback they have received from all of these changes. The only negative comment made was that one day no one liked the featured food items. Signorello and Garcia both agreed that this was a good thing to know; they simply will not serve that food item anymore.
“Not everyone likes peanut butter and jelly or Taylor Ham. It’s just how it goes,” Garcia said.
As for the University Center construction, Signorello said there is nothing to announce yet, however, they are looking into it.
With all of the improvements, Signorello and Garcia encourage the university community to keep the campus looking nice. With that in mind, Signorello announced that a sorority/fraternity group of seven people so far, headed by Jenna Copperwhite, vice president of service for Alpha Phi Omega, will be going around the campus and cleaning it up.
He said the university is also increasing Sunday cleaning, joking that students must clean out their cars on this day because when Monday comes around the parking garage usually has a large amount of trash on its floors. They are also putting up a bulletin board in the new Academic Building, signaling for people not to tape anything on the walls.
“This is your home,” Garcia said. “Do you want your walls all dirty?”
Signorello added that it helps relations with Seton Hall’s neighbors if the campus is kept clean. He urged students to come to him with any initiatives and ideas to help make this happen.
“We’ve made some improvements, we know there’s room for other improvements, let’s figure it out,” Signorello said.
Garcia also mentioned that the free laundry will be ending within a few weeks when the swiping equipment that had been missing is delivered and installed in all dormitories.
Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.