By Anna Zetterberg & Kristina Webb
Assist. Managing Editor & Copy Editor
Palm Beach Atlantic University students can “eat mor’ chikin” on campus this fall as Chick-fil-A replaces Common Ground on campus.
PBA President Lu Hardin announced food service company Aramark has scored the new dining contract with the university after Sodexo’s contract runs out on July 1.
Aramark is listed in FORTUNE magazine’s 2010 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
“I’m truly excited when I think about where PBA’s going in the next five years,” Hardin said.
Although Aramark representative David Gargione could not comment on the specifics of the new contract, he said Aramark is “excited about the possibility of working with the university.”
“The service we’ve received from Sodexo has been phenomenal,” Hardin said. “Not only do I have no complaints; Abbie [Rosemeyer] has been absolutely wonderful.”
“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve at PBA for the last 10 years,” said Abbie Rosemeyer, PBA’s on-campus Sodexo representative.
The decision was based on financial offers made by both companies, as well as dining schedules and a Student Government recommendation.
“We all knew this was a contract year and there was a possibility that the contract would not be renewed,” said student and Sodexo employee Erin Welsh. “All we could do was our part to improve PBA dining.”
A committee of PBA students visited Florida Gulf Coast University to witness first hand what Aramark’s dining would be like.
One of the features that impressed both students and administration was Aramark’s anytime dining from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Five-day and seven-day meal plan passes will be offered.
Students will be able to enter and exit the cafeteria all day by showing their meal passes and using their passes for the number of days specified.
Block plans for Southside and commuters will also still be available. Chefs will be on staff to prepare food fresh.
According to the Aramark Higher Education Web site, the company partners up with big-name food corporations like Starbucks, Einstein Bros., Jamba Juice, Burger King, Subway and Chick-fil-A.
Student Government representative Johann Lily said Common Ground will be replaced with a Chick-fil-A and Jazzman’s will become an Einstein Bros. by the fall semester.
A $1.3 million cafeteria renovation will transform the dining hall into “one of the most beautiful cafeterias in the country,” Hardin said. “It will be breath-taking.”
The student response so far has been positive.
“I’m pretty excited about it because now I feel like dining on campus is actually a viable option,” said sophomore Scott Voth. “A lot of people always went to the cafeteria for a last resort or because they were out of money, but I think now a lot of people will choose to eat on campus.”
“I think it’s a good decision,” commuter Jennifer O’Grady said as she stood in line at Jazzman’s. “The only thing I wouldn’t want is that it may be more expensive, and I don’t have a meal plan. I pay with my own money.”
PBA senior Jeremy Holizna, a musical theater major who has worked at Jazzman’s since September, said he knows he may have to reapply for his job.
“I’m hoping some deal will be made because I need this,” Holizna said.
In spite of the pricey cafeteria face lift, tuition will only increase 3 percent, a drop in the bucket compared to the University of California’s 30 percent for the upcoming school year.
“You are gonna be blown away when you return this fall,” Hardin said.
A few other points Hardin touched on were the construction of Hillcrest, visitation days, Christival, track, parking, future goals and the billboard.