-- Dining and shopping on the Hattiesburg campus of The University
of Southern Mississippi will have a new look, taste and feel for
students, faculty and staff after July 1. The university is seeking
permission from the state college board for Aramark to outsource
its food service and for Barnes and Noble to outsource its bookstore.
service and bookstore employees will maintain their positions, working
for Aramark and Barnes and Noble. The staff will receive a five
percent pay raise when the businesses take over in July.
it clear in our discussions with these companies that our current
personnel were very important to us, and we required their written
obligation that the employees would be taken care of," said
Gregg Lassen, the university's chief financial officer. "With
their raises and improved health care benefits, I think they will
be really happy. They will still be recognized as a part of the
Southern Miss family though."
consisting of faculty, staff and students traveled to the University
of Alabama and Georgia Tech to compare vendors, tour facilities
and talk with employees, faculty and students. The committee judged
vendors on quality of food, quality and quantity of merchandise,
vision for the future and revenue projections.
services on university campuses has become a rising national trend.
In 2002, UNICCO Service Company, a leading integrated facilities
service company, surveyed 112 schools regarding outsourcing. Of
the schools surveyed, 61 percent outsource food service and 52 percent
outsource their bookstores.
the Hattiesburg campus proposed an off-campus meal plan to the administration
last fall semester. "We recognized our students' interest in
the variety of food offered, access and pricing," said Joe
Paul, vice president for student affairs. "We believe the food
plan offered by Aramark will 'wow' our students and keep more of
them on campus between classes, at the end of the day, and on weekends."
who served as student body president from 2003-04, said: "I
think it's going to bring us to a higher level of being able to
offer better services and options to the students. It will certainly
be a great selling point for the university when we are talking
with prospective students about our campus and what we have to offer."
residential restaurant, RFoC, Real Food on Campus, will be located
in the University Commons in 2004 and will move to the new addition
of the R.C. Cook University Union in 2006. Students will enjoy warm
breads fresh out of the oven, rotisserie chicken, made-to-order
grilled panini sandwiches and cookies baked right before their eyes.
With its unique style of menu planning, food presentation and service
philosophy, RFoC is founded on field innovation, best practices,
and continuous improvement - not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all
Power Plant building across from Cook Library will be the home of
A Fresh Food Company, which is modeled after a European marketplace
and features upscale, authentic foods from around the world. This
residential dining location is scheduled for completion by fall
rates for the current year range from $835 to $985 per semester.
The rates for plans with Aramark range from $900 to $1,000, but
these plans all offer a new feature called Flex Bucks. Plans have
a range of $75 to $200 Flex Bucks that may be used at any of the
locations on campus, including the convenience store, so there is
additional flexibility for students.
for retail dining include Einstein Bros. Bagels & Café
located in the International Education Center, which is currently
under construction. In the current Seymour's location, plans are
underway for a Chick-fil-A, Home Zone, Montague's Deli, Salad Garden,
Bene Pizza and Pasta and an Express. The Union atrium area would
house a Java City. This dining area will expand with the construction
of the new addition to the R.C. Cook University Union, which is
scheduled for completion in 2007.
Pan Geos, where
diners can order freshly made wrap sandwiches and enjoy exhibition-style
sauté cooking, will be located in the Payne Center atrium.
In the freshman
quad area, students will be able to enjoy food and beverages from
a specialty sub shop, Bene Pizza and Pasta, and Freshens Smoothies.
A contemporary convenience store, C3: Convenience to the Third Power,
will also be located in the quad and will provide shoppers with
snacks, candy, beverages, chips, fruits, sundries and more.
located in the heart of campus, will house a Starbucks in the first
Hall will have a Pan Geos in 2004 and will expand to offer Montague's
Deli and C3 in 2007. Residents of Elam Arms will enjoy an expanded
menu with a greater variety and selection of products at the Elam
Noble is a nationally recognized bookstore that will move into the
current bookstore location in 2004 and expand into the new Student
Life Center when it is completed. "The bookstore at Georgia
Tech was amazing," said Beth Cooksey, a member of the committee.
"Our university community will love it, and I think it will
draw people from the community onto campus to shop."
by the College Board, both Aramark and Barnes and Noble will begin
work July 1. "We expect their impact to be almost immediate,"
Lassen said. "I know our university community will be really
pleased with the outcome."