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July 19, 2002

ULM Begins Major Renovations Of University Food Services

The University of Louisiana at Monroe and ARAMARK are forming a partnership called the ULM Dining Services. The ULM Dining Services is outsourcing all food service operations to ARAMARK. ARAMARK is rated No. 1 in the outsourcing services category and is among the Top 50 companies overall in FORTUNE Magazine's 2002 "Most Admired Companies in America." The contract calls for ARAMARK to pay for remodeling in the Student Union Building, the Wigwam, and Schulze Cafeteria.

"There are many exciting changes ahead for students at ULM. With ARAMARK's expertise ULM Dining Services is embarking on a project that will completely change the way students eat on our campus. ULM is poised to become a leader and innovator in the arena of food service in the state," said ULM Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Wayne Brumfield.

Work on renovations began July 12th. Many of the renovations should be completed in time for the Fall 2002 semester. New to ULM will be the Schulze Residential Restaurant, which will take the place of Schulze Cafeteria. In Schulze Residential Restaurant, food service will be expanded to 7 stations with the majority of the food prepared in front of the customer. Included will be an extensive salad bar, traditional home-style entrees and sides, pizza, grill, deli, and two custom made-to-order stations. Some walls are slated for removal and seating will be expanded to incorporate the view of the bayou. Hours will be extended to offer later dining and weekend operations.

ULM is addressing what appears to be a national trend: updating food services to meet student requests. In "Students Won't Give Up Their French Fries," an article by Elizabeth F. Farrell from the July 12, 2002 online issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Farrell writes "Perhaps it is an attempt to avoid gaining the dreaded 'freshman 15,' but students around the country are demanding more information about the foods they're served in dining halls, and they're asking for a greater variety of healthy fare, according to college officials."

With all these changes, more variety is just what ULM students will get. Currently the Wigwam is a traditional retail food service outlet with counters and serving trays that have a limited variety. After the changes are made, the Wigwam will house fresh new concepts like Bené Pizza and Pasta, Montague's Deli, Grill Works and Club Fast-Track (ever-changing special promotions). The look and feel of this location will also be revitalized with new tables and seating.

In addition to these changes, more will be made throughout the fall semester. In the Wigwam, a Java City location for premium coffee and espresso drinks and a Freshens destination for smoothies and frozen yogurt will be introduced. There will also be extended night and weekend hours. The old seating will be replaced with more comfortable seating, reminiscent of a living room. A student favorite, Chick-fil-A, is relocating to the Wigwam to better serve the ULM community. In the Student Center, or SUB, the existing Chick-fil-A location will be replaced with a retail food (convenience) store and a new food concept to be determined.

"The SUB is such an important part of the student experience, and we want a place on this campus where students will feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed. We feel these improvements along with a convenience store and new fixtures will accomplish all of these and hopefully our students will feel their needs are being addressed," said Gary Huckabay, Director Auxiliary Enterprises at ULM.

The ARAMARK part of the ULM Dining Services team will be headed by Perry Martin, Eddie Rushing will be overseeing operations at the Wigwam and convenience store, and Marvin Guy will be in charge of the Schulze Residential Restaurant.

ARAMARK serves over 205 million meals annually to college and university students at 400 institutions in the U.S. and abroad in addition to providing dining services, catering, food court, convenience store, and facility services. ARAMARK is a $9 billion world leader in providing managed services, including food, facility and other support services, uniform and career apparel and childcare and early education. ARAMARK has leadership positions serving the business, education, healthcare, government, sports and recreation sectors. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 200,000 employees serving customers in 17 countries.

Click on the following site to see the ARAMARK scans of proposed changes at the Wigwam and Schulze.

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