Food focus of first MSG forum


Donny Bryant III, Contributing writer

On Sept. 17, Mercyhurst Student Government hosted its first forum of the 2018-19 school year in the Student Union Great Room.

The forum was open to all Mercyhurst students to discuss the on-campus pub and the Parkhurst dining services that will be available to students this year. Food and drinks were provided for everyone that attended the event.

Dean Schoenfeldt, Parkhurst general manager; Katie Boyd, Parkhurst director of Dining; Lori Blakeslee, Laker Inn director of Retail Operations; LauraZirkle, Ph.D., vice president for Student Life; and David P. Myron, vice president for Finance and Administration, formed a panel at the forum representing the different Mercyhurst dining services. The panel answered questions from students that were asked using an online survey provided by MSG.

The forum was live streamed on Facebook, allowing students to ask questions and watch from the comfort of thier own homes.

Vince Marrazzo, MSG president, and Sophia Jensen, MSG vice president, organized the event.

“I put this together to give students a generalization about the availability and currency that will be used at the pub and pricing for Parkhurst that will bring a new atmosphere to the university,” Marrazzo said.

Parkhurst highly emphasized that it is taking a very student-oriented focus in providing food and products in the dining halls and stores that the students want.

One way for students to be directly involved with their dining services for this year is to participate in Parkhurst’s dining hall naming contest for Ryan dining hall, Ryan retail and the pub.
Schoenfeldt is pleased with the addition of Ryan Hall dining and feels that it will give students a more convenient place to enjoy the services of Parkhurst.

“The challenge was offering a different type of service between Ryan Hall and Laker. Students thought that the Laker was too far away. This way everyone would enjoy getting the service that they need at Mercyhurst,” Schoenfeldt said.

Myron gave more direct plans for the construction of the pub that will move into the lower level of the Laker Inn.

Students were concerned that the Mercyhurst pub will have stiff compeition from neighboring bar, The Cornerstone.

“The pub should be open by late January, early February. This will be considered as the college bar for Mercyhurst,” Myron said.

The bartenders will be certified and trained in safe bar practices The pub will be available to Mercyhurst students and alumni as well as community members.
The new pub will be open from 5p.m. to 2 a.m and will serve specials, such as wing nights.

“We wanted to do something different so that other facilities don’t mirror each other,” Boyd said. “This brings more variety to the university.”

The panel also introduced a new app for the dining services, called FoodU. It was displayed and explained to provide a visual aid for the students to understand the options that the dining facilities have to offer. The app can be downloaded on Google Play as well as for Android and iPhone.

The event lasted an hour, which gave everyone the opportunity to ask about the plans for the year.