Food venues to come to CSUN

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Daily Sundial

The University Corporation plans to provide additional food services, and venues on campus to accommodate future growth on campus this spring.

Dave Nirenberg, director of commercial services for The University Corporation, said the Arbor Court would be a replacement structure for the Exchange located near Juniper Hall.

“The existing structure is a lingering response to the unfortunate earthquake,” Nirenberg said.

The Arbor Court was designed to provide about 4,000 square feet of shaded seating.

Ground breaking for the Arbor Court is scheduled for June.

Nirenberg said the court would provide excellent gathering spaces and a social environment for students. Two hundred and fifty seats will have shade and an architecturally designed windbreak to give students and faculty cover from the sun and wind.

The Arbor Court would include the fourth Freudian Sip on campus, providing a “place for coffee at every compass point on campus,” Nirenberg said.

The most immediate improvements will be a new Freudian Sip and a new Mercantile Exchange in the University Student Union, which is expected to be complete by March 16.

“We’ve grown a lot,” said Tom McCarron, executive director of the University Corporation.

Recently completed improvements on campus include the bookstore renovation, the construction of the Sierra Center, and the landscaping on the west side of Sierra Hall.

McCarron said The University Corporation employs more than 150 students on campus and neither the state or the university provide any funds to it.

“Any revenue generated is returned to the campus,” McCarron said.

Surplus, however, vary from year to year, but McCarron said whatever money was left over was returned as soft money to the university. Soft money is not regulated by the state budget and allows more flexibility for the university to address whatever issue necessary on campus.

The University Corporation, CSUN’s nonprofit independent auxiliary, was founded in 1958. It has an overarching role to support the entire university campus with services.

The services include the Matador Bookstore, all food services, sponsored programs, such as grants and scholarships, and university licensing, such as use of the Northridge campus by the film industry and use of the CSUN logo.

It also manages endowments for the university as well as staff housing and real estate.

“They operate all food services on campus, so the employees in the University Student Union food services are actually TUC employees,” said Debra Hammond, executive director of the USU.

The USU and TUC reached a consolidation agreement on Jan. 1, 2004.

“The arrangement brings all campus food operations under University Corporation management and ensure coordinated, campus-wide planning and delivery of food services.” Executive Director McCarron wrote in a letter included in TUC’s Annual report.

“We provide input to them through the means of a food service advisory committee,” Hammond said.

Nirenberg said that the consolidation of the two entities on campus provides an accountability and responsibility. He said that communication between the USU and TUC allows them to respond to student desires.

“It is important that we watch the community and respond to their needs,” said Nirenberg said.

Some noticeable trends in consumption on campus have been the amount of coffee consumed, and on-the-go foods. TUC is looking to add organic foods and more ethnic foods on campus as well.

Chris Daines can be reached cd083589@csun.edu.