Upper and Lower debut new look

With+just+over+500+students+registered+on+campus+for+fall+break%2C+dining+halls+had+limited+hours+and+food+options.

With just over 500 students registered on campus for fall break, dining halls had limited hours and food options.

Sadie Lebow

Photo by Katherine Weeks ‘16

Upper’s renovation featured changes to the seating arrangements.

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Students were welcomed back to campus with changes to both Upper and Lower Farinon, which had been in progress since the end of last semester.

Upper saw the most significant renovations, with new furniture, expanded seating, a burrito bar, and rearrangement of food stations. Meanwhile, Lower is now home to the much-discussed sushi bar. The made-to-order sandwiches have been replaced by a variety of fresh, house-made sushi, including classics like California and tuna rolls.

Many of the changes were prompted by concerns regarding space and efficiency.  Jade Saybolt‘16, who served as a student voice on a committee that oversaw the renovations, explained that the stations were redesigned to incorporate a more open set-up.

“The changes were made to help the fluidity of upper,” Saybolt said. “It was to help students keep things moving, get the food out quickly, and have enough room to make the food without it being so cramped. We also wanted to give the students more perspective on where the food is coming from.”

The renovations have been met with mixed reactions. Jennifer Barnes ’17 commented on the structural changes.

“I enjoy the new seating arrangements, but I found the reorganization of the food to be a bit confusing and that it took me longer to get my food and a bit inconvenient,” Barnes said.

On the other hand, students acknowledge that the new Burrito bar is an unexpectedly efficient dining option.

“I did try the burritos,” Kara Senesi ’17 said. I thought that it was streamlined and efficient. There wasn’t a long line and it went by fast.”

Seating changes in upper included the removal of the large circular tables, which were replaced by smaller square tables and a more open seating area.

“Overall, I think [the changes] are a step in the right direction,” Senesi said.  “I like that they added new seating arrangements. It looks more polished than last year. We’ll probably end up going to upper more often than last semester just because of the new changes.”

Some students still remain nostalgic for the past.

“I miss the booths,” Samantha Buczek ‘17 said, voicing one common concern.

For the changes to Lower’s menu, the sushi bar has proven controversial. Some students feel that school should have brought back the popular make-your-own sandwiches from last year.

“I’m pro-sandwich,” Buczeck said.“There’s more variety. You can eat them at anytime of the day, but I’m not going to eat sushi early.”

By and large, the renovations seemed minor for some.

“I don’t think any of the changes were very substantial,” Grace Conroy ‘17 said.

The recent changes to the Farinon dining options are part of a series of upgrades to Lafayette’s dining services.

While Upper and Lower underwent their renovations this year, larger improvements to Marquis and Gilbert’s will not be made until next year, Sayboltsaid.

“Marquis will be a big change,” Saybolt said.“I’m excited, it’s definitely going to expand the room and be less cramped.”