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NDH debuts room of delights

Katie McCarty | Thursday, November 8, 2012

Students eating in North Dining Hall can escape into a state fair, the Old West or a winter wonderland through the new Rec Room, which offers special food and activities in accordance with a different theme every week.

Carla McDonald, a dining hall manager, said the Rec Room, which debuted the week after fall break, was “a collaboration” between her and her fellow managers.

“We came up with the Rec Room as a way to give something back to the students,” McDonald said. “It’s some place they can go to have a good time and give them a more fun experience.”

The room takes on a different theme every week, reflected in the food served there and its décor, McDonald said. The dining hall staff has already been brainstorming new and innovative themes.

“This week is a cornhole tournament, next week is a coloring contest and later there will be a Lego building contest,” McDonald said. “There will be prizes.”

The week before Thanksgiving there will be a rainbow chocolate fountain, and every day of the week the fountain will be a different color, she said.

The week after Thanksgiving, the Rec Room will celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with gingerbread house decorating. After Christmas break, a Wii tournament will take place, as well as a “create your own waffle cone” week.

“When it gets cold out, maybe in January, we are planning a Western theme with s’mores and chili,” McDonald said.

In addition to fun activates and prizes, the Rec Room also has special food options. For example, this week in conjunction with the cornhole tournament, students can enjoy freshly made tortilla chips and salsa in the room, McDonald said.

“Usually there is snacky foods,” she said. “For example, we are planning a circus week with corndogs and nachos. The food coordinates with the theme.”

McDonald said students are enjoying the Rec Room so far.

“During the first week, which was state-fair themed, there were several people coming in and participating,” she said.  

When the Rec Room offered pumpkin carving last week, students carved about twenty pumpkins. Many other students also participated in a costume contest, McDonald said.

McDonald said she encourages students to “like” the “The Rec Room at North Dining Hall” Facebook page which updates students about themes, activities and special foods happening in the Rec Room each week. The dining hall staff is also hanging flyers up in dining area to remind students to like the page.

“It’s a new program,” McDonald said, “but it is all about getting the word out.”