Iowa State Dining

By Jared McKenna

Iowa State University serves thousands of students breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Many of the more than 36,000 students enrolled choose to eat their meals at a dining center. With daily traffic of students in the tens of thousands across dining centers on campus, Iowa State University has taken steps to create a better overall dining experience for customers. Some of these steps include recent renovations to dining centers, the construction of a new dining center on campus and even how students are served.

Marketing Coordinator for ISU Dining, Brittney Rutherford, says that some renovations were made to Clyde’s restaurant-style dining center.

“Our director came, he came in mid-year. He had heard from students and staff members and everything else that our lines are really, really long. He worked with the chef team to figure out how to make Clyde’s a grab and go concept, instead of a made to order,” Rutherford said.

Senior in Agronomy, Can Karacetin, agrees that the “grab and go” concept is one that should stay.

“Compared to last year, it’s much better, because last year, people would end up just waiting for quite awhile. But, right now, they can just, like, they are ready to go and they can just get it and eat it right away,” Karacetin said.

About five to six thousand students are served throughout the day at the Union Drive Marketplace Dining Center alone. How students are served at dining centers can affect their overall dining experience.

“Last fall, they tried to use student workers to serve you so that the lines would go quicker. It didn’t work,” Rutherford said.

According to Rutherford, many students disliked this option and the dining center service went back to a “self-serve plan.” However, some say this option is not the best logistical plan.

Manager at UDM, Joey Bergstrand, said a self-serve plan still may not be the best option.

“This semester, it might have been worse than what I’ve had in the past for lines. But a lot of that has been due to we’ve given the students the option to serve themselves,” Bergstrand said.

According to Bergstrand, some students may take a little bit more time to serve their own plate, but do not seem to mind as long as the line keeps moving.

“It’s kind of a hard medium to find. The problem here is just that there are so many customers at our lunch time period that it’d be really hard to do things plated,” Bergstrand said.

Another way Iowa State University plans on cutting down long lines and creating a better dining experience for students is by constructing a dining center near the Union Drive Marketplace. The new dining center will be called Friley Windows and is expected to begin serving students in fall 2017. According to Bergstrand, the new facility will be able to serve more than 300 people.

“Having that facility open to have taking a way just a certain amount of customers here would make the dining experience better for everyone,” Bergstrand said.

Some tips to reduce wait times, according to materials posted at dining centers, is to eat during “lower traffic times” if your schedule allows for it and to sit with other students you may not know if there is an open seat and you are both comfortable to do so.

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Iowa State University Diversity

By Jared McKenna

Iowa State University’s student population of over 36,000 brings a variety of cultures to Ames. While it is easy to notice differences in other groups of people, it is not as easy to see the diverse cultures behind these groups. The Multicultural Student Affairs organization, located in the Student Services building on campus, creates an outlet for often underrepresented cultures to be understood.

Graduate assistant for the Achieving Program for Excellence at Iowa State University, Jesus Galvan, says that underrepresented groups can find resources at Student Services to be heard.

“Our staff is good to help spread the word,” Galvan said.

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The Workspace, located in the basement of the Memorial Union, is a location on campus for students to express their creativity and heritage.

Many cultural organizations are already represented by the Multicultural Student Affairs organization and are listed as official Iowa State University clubs. These organizations range from the African Students Association to the German Student Association (Zeitgeist). These organizations represent students of a wide variety of cultures and differing backgrounds.

“Under represented [groups] could come to talk and get resources for an organization,” Galvan said.

The staff at the Multicultural Student Affair organization’s A.P.E.X. advises the group organizations and even schedules events for members of the different organizations to attend.

“We [the organization] set up a ‘tailgate social’ for the San Jose State game… This community is very strong, this is just a place like home,” Galvan said.

Other events are organized by the university to provide a space for different cultures to come together and spread awareness. One event to bring awareness to ‘Latin X’ cultures is organized by the Workspace in the Memorial Union. This event is the “Dia de los Muertos Skull Decorating” event.

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The Student Services Building provides resources and organizations, like the Multicultural Student Affairs Organization, to represent the culturally diverse student body of Iowa State.

Supervisor at Workspace, Aston Chang, says that the many cultural events held at the Workspace can help spread awareness in what is today’s culture.

“This is a very open community to use the space for creative needs,” Chang said.

The “Dia de los Muertos” event is held in the Workspace throughout the month of October to bring awareness to the “Latin X” cultures. Other cultural crafting events the Workspace organizes are “Rainbow Necklaces”—held in November for the L.G.B.T. community,—winter holiday events, and crafts including Chinese calligraphy.

“[Art] helps the community stay engaged and keep connected to the culture of the area… [It’s] a cultural aspect of the city too… It’s more about the experience and positive energy,” Chang said.

Cultural diversity is a large part of the community of Ames and Iowa State University.

“No matter your background it can be a home away from home,” Galvan said.

Iowa State ‘Fire Safety Day’

By Jared McKenna

Pull. Aim. Squeeze. Sweep. Four short words create the easy to remember acronym—P.A.S.S. This easy to remember, but often unknown, acronym could mean the difference between containing a small fire or evacuation of a burning building.

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Iowa State University has taken a proactive approach by creating Campus Fire Safety Day. The event, created in 2010, has taught about 300 students per year the proper use of a fire extinguisher. Students have the opportunity to use a fire extinguisher to put out a simulated fire during the event.

Fire Safety Officer for the Emergency Management and Fire Safety at Iowa State, Troy Carey, urges students to act quickly in an emergency situation. “There is only about ten to fifteen seconds worth of extinguishing agent [in an average fire extinguisher], so it’s important to be decisive.”

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The simulated fire device (right) is about to be electronically ignited for a student to train.

Carey also reiterated, in an emergency situation, it is not any one person’s responsibility to use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire. “It is perfectly acceptable to use a pull station fire alarm, alert others of the emergency, and evacuate the building.”

Training students how to correctly use a fire extinguisher can reduce the number of fires that require evacuation. The Campus Fire Safety Day event is held outside where a larger crowd can listen to the instructors and participate in extinguishing a simulated fire. “It’s easier to train more people in a short amount of time than if the event was held in a classroom where about 20 or 25 people could attend,” Carey said.

According to Carey, the number of fires requiring evacuation have gone down in his 18 years at Iowa State University. “Even with more square footage [of new buildings or additions] and more students at Iowa State, the number of fires have gone down and education and [safety] inspections play a role in that.”

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A student uses the P.A.S.S. method to extinguish a simulated fire.

Among the many students participating in the event, large numbers have no hands-on experience with a fire extinguisher. One Iowa State student, Nick Struss, is one of the many people who never used a fire extinguisher before the event. “I know where my fire extinguisher is located, but I wasn’t entirely sure on how to use it. It’s actually a lot easier than I thought. Just twist off and pull the pin and plastic, point, and fire,” Struss said.

The event can be used for more than learning how to use a fire extinguisher. “I even learned about the different dangers of chemical fires… It’s a good refresher and good for everyone because fire is a hazard everywhere.”