What does ARAMARK do for Elon University?

Food is essential for life. Some people base their entire lives around the growing, tending, and selling of food to benefit themselves and to live successfully. Some spend their entire life behind a cash register at a small restaurant, constantly dealing with customers and the food that they need to survive. Others spend their time manufacturing and serving food to college campuses full of students who may not be able to cook anything that will not fit into a microwave. These people may be considered lifelines in society, as they are vital for survival and success.

ARAMARK, an award-winning food service, is the primary food provider at Elon University. The company works with over 600 universities and institutions across North America, providing a plethora of food and drink for students to purchase and consume at their leisure.

The company serves a community of over 7,000 people each day, constantly altering strategies and ideas to meet the tastes and preferences of Elon University students, faculty, and visitors. ARAMARK Unit Marketing Manager, Kate Nelson, works extremely closely with Elon University and has spent seven years trying to satisfy the needs of the community.

“I learned about the company while at school at UNCW. It was not until after I was hired that I learned what a large company ARAMARK was and the extent of the company work,” she said, “I spend my time trying to make sure that the campus is running on good food, and is satisfied with the choices that ARAMARK has to offer.”

Elon University thrives on ARAMARK. Whether students are grabbing coffee in between classes or sitting down with friends to enjoy a meal at an on campus dining location, ARAMARK plays a crucial role in the everyday lives of the community. Some of the most popular locations on campus include Acorn Coffee Shop and Octagon Café in the Moseley Student Center.

Davre Davidson

For such a huge company, ARAMARK began on very small terms. ARAMARK founder Davre Davidson began selling peanuts from the trunk of his Dodge automobile in 1936. Davidson dreamt of lining offices and factories with vending machines, and was soon united with a man with similar dreams, William Fishman, who owned and ran Automatic Merchandising Company in Chicago. The two merged their business ideas and began a company known as Automatic Retailers of America, or ARA. The company began to provide diverse food to new and different businesses and companies that they had made connections with.

The company made great strides in 1968 when it was chosen to serve athletes at the Summer Olympics in Mexico. After many more partnerships and new management, ARA Services changed its name and service philosophy to ARAMARK in 1994. Management realized that their special relationships with businesses had become more than simply partnerships, and began to label them “Unlimited Partnerships,” a term that they still use today.

ARAMARK has continued to thrive over the years, and pursues these “Unlimited Partnerships” all over the country, specifically at Elon University. With three dining halls and over five different retail locations, ARAMARK allows Elon to feed students thousands of pounds of food each day to fuel their bodies and minds. ARAMARK offers students all different types of food, and always contains plenty of vegetarian or vegan options, as well as gluten free options for those with food allergies.

Sophomore Kimberly Nance stops by Acorn Coffee Shop

“I usually go to Acorn about three times a day,” sophomore Kimberly Nance laughed, “Once in the morning to wake myself up with some coffee, once after my afternoon class for a sandwich, and once at night to get a cookie and to chat with some of my favorite employees. It feels like home in there.”

Employees agree that they have formed connections with students who visit frequently.

“I have a group of people that I see every day. I’ll point at them and know exactly what they’re going to order,” Acorn Coffee Shop employee Eddie Talley said, “Working here has become something I enjoy. It isn’t just a job anymore.”

ARAMARK has been partners with Elon University for over 50 years, delivering copious amounts of food to campus each day. Elon Dining is a proud partner of the North Carolina 10% Campaign, a program that asks its members to commit to purchasing a minimum of 10% of all food locally. ARAMARK purchases foods from local, regional, and national suppliers who must pass a rigorous evaluation process before partnering with ARAMARK. Food production and menu variety is adjusted each day to meet the needs of the community, and depending on the day or time of the year, ARAMARK adjusts the amount of food provided as students desire certain items more.

“My favorite is definitely the Chick-fil-A in Octagon Café,” freshman Maggie Joest said, “It is so nice to be able to grab my favorite fast food with just a meal swipe. All my friends back home are jealous when I tell them I get waffle fries almost every day.”

With the 2011-2012 school year came much adjustment in Elon Dining Services. ARAMARK introduced a myriad of new meal plans for students to choose from and enjoy. Whereas last year, students were able to use a certain number of meals per week, this year, students residing on campus are required to choose one of the All Access meal plans. These plans allow unlimited dining hall access, and depending on the number of additional meals that students desire, they can purchase seven or 14 additional meals per week to be used at on campus retail locations. Block meal plans are also available for students living in on campus apartments and off campus locations. Students have expressed positive and negative opinions on this system, and ARAMARK encourages this feedback.

“I don’t mind the new meal plans because I can use the block meal plan for anything I want. I can understand why students with the all access plans are frustrated sometimes, it really limits where you can and can’t eat,” sophomore Jeff Ackermann said.

“With any change there is some frustration; In this case specifically everyone had to learn how to utilize the new meal plans,” Nelson said, “Most students enjoy the new All-Access Meal Plans.”

ARAMARK has a myriad of plans and ideas for Elon University in the future. The brand new Global Dining Hall & Retail Café is projected to open in the beginning of 2013 and will be located in the new Global Residential Neighborhood as part of the Moseley Center expansion. The new building will feature a dining hall and food court along with a 4500 square-foot conference room for catered events. The dining hall will feature a local station, an international station, and a home station while the retail café will feature restaurants including an expanded Chick-fil-A.

Although students, faculty, and visitors may have differing opinions when it comes to the food and drink they consume at Elon University, the community revolves around ARAMARK and the food that the company provides. A steady food provider ensues happiness and satisfaction and allows students to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

An inspiring journalist’s story of success

“Being a journalist is a great job no matter what you’re reporting on,” journalist Tina Firesheets said with a smile, “it is an opportunity to completely step into someone else’s life.”

Firesheets was kind enough to speak to my Elon University journalism class on Monday morning about the ups and downs of life as a reporter. Firesheets developed a passion for journalism at a young age, and spent her young life writing and attending journalism workshops.

“I was always told I was a good writer,” she said, “It was just something that came very naturally to me.”

Greensboro News and Record reporter, Tina Firesheets

Firesheets attended Brevard College for two years before transferring to University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While in college, she worked as a student reporter and was able to obtain numerous internships due to her skills and determination. After college, Firesheets was denied a position at the Greensboro News and Record, but did not give up hope. She instead became a writer for the newspaper’s entertainment magazine, where she worked for two years before eventually being hired by the paper.

“There are always different ways to get you where you want to go,” she said, “This opportunity taught me one thing: don’t give up hope.”

Firesheets’ passion for writing and reporting is both inspiring and contagious. As she stood before me, smiling and holding a patterned coffee mug, I realized just how passionate I am about journalism. Her demeanor was very similar to mine as I walked into an Elon academic building to declare my journalism major. Her advice rang through my head as I sat in class recording copious notes.

Internships are key. Firesheets stressed the importance of experience before entering the journalism world after college.

Be on time. “I always try to allow myself enough time to get lost,” she joked.

Be smart. Firesheets suggested dressing in dress suits before attending a function or an interview. “You want to be taken seriously,” she added.

Be prepared. Firesheets talked about the fact that background research and preparation are vital to succeeding in the journalism world.

Don’t give up. “If I had given up after originally being rejected by the Greensboro News and Record, I may not be where I am today,” she said.

Firesheets’ talk was extremely beneficial and inspiring to a class of 18 aspiring journalists. Her drive and determination ultimately led to her success, and with the same attitude, I am confident that I will achieve greatness.

A look back at Elon University’s Loy Center

Megan Larcher and Stephanie Petrich

Elon University, a school that prides itself on furthering the mental, physical, and social aspects of student life, offers a wide range of activities and organizations that aim to better the college experience of each student. Greek organizations are some of the most prevalent and dominant groups on campus, including about 43 percent of females and 26 percent of males.

Mr. Bill Loy built the Loy Center, or the collection of sorority and fraternity houses, for Elon University in 1987. Loy donated the center to the university in memory of his wife, Lib Apple Loy, a faithful member of Beta Omicron Beta sorority. Since its culmination in 1987, it has tripled in size, now accommodating 19 chapter facilities and about 218 undergraduate students.

These houses offer four different styles of fraternity and sorority housing, and include efficiency water heaters, dual flush toilets, laundry facilities and energy star appliances for the chapter. Recently, five brand new houses were introduced to the Loy Center, built sustainably utilizing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes program. This program designed the houses to be water and energy efficient, making each house approximately 44% more efficient than a typical conventional home.

In addition to housing students, the Loy Center is also home for the Spirit Rock, a part of the center since its dedication in 1987. The rock symbolizes pride, spirit, and the unity of Greek life, sits at the front of the Loy Center. Members of different organizations compete to represent their organization on the rock by dousing it in spray paint and Greek letters to symbolize dominance and unity.

The Loy Center has become much more than a collection of Greek homes. It is a center for activity, Greek life, and unity among students. With each home requiring a house manager of junior or senior status, Greek undergraduates of all ages come together under the same roof to share love and laughter with the rest of the chapter.

Greek house resident Madeline Carlin said, “Living in my sorority house was such a great experience. It got me more involved in my organization and I found myself to be constantly exposed to women who shared the same love for my sorority as I did.”

Franken-phones

Nowadays, it seems that everyone is connected. Connected to email, connected to Facebook and Twitter, connected to weather updates, but most importantly, people have become completely connected to their mobile phones. This connection has become so intense that it has changed the way people live and communicate with one another. Something as simple as planning a meal with friends has become almost impossible without the help of a text message or call from a mobile phone. Communication between family, friends, and even strangers has become reliant on these technological devices.

As a college student, everything I do requires my mobile phone. In the morning, I use my smart phone to check the weather, update my Facebook status, and send a text message to a friend to see if she wants to get lunch. During the day, I am constantly connected to my email, family and friends, and without my phone, I feel extremely incomplete and naked.

Journalist Andrew Keen recently explored the danger of society’s obsession with smart phones. In his article, “How our mobiles became Frankenstein’s monster,” Keen discusses the increasing addiction to mobile devices that people are experiencing. He questions readers, asking them to think about the last time they went anywhere without their smart phones, a question that is almost impossible for some to answer. Keen reveals that the real problem with these phones is that they are increasingly becoming smarter, and will one day begin to trump human intelligence. Whereas now, we control our phones, one day, our phones will begin to control our every move.

“At one point, I wonder, do increasingly intelligent and autonomous cell phones incorporate such sophisticated intelligence that they become indistinguishable from us?” Keen writes.

Keen also writes about the upcoming Mobile World Congress, a gigantic mobile telephone convention held in Barcelona, Spain, where companies will pitch their new line of mobile phones, promoting “personal empowerment.”

“But the real truth behind these increasingly intelligent devices is personal disempowerment. Such is the eerie reality of a phone that you can’t live without,” Keen says.

Keen’s hypotheses may be extreme, but may also be eerily correct. In a recent article by Ted Gregory, he interviewed a young man by the name of David Macias, who has five personal electronics.

“I have trouble sleeping sometimes,” Macias said, also stating that he sleeps with his phone which wakes him when he receives a text message.

This growing addiction to mobile phones is becoming extreme and unhealthy. Only truth and time will reveal how much more these mobile devices will change the lives of people everywhere.

NC Amendment One: Not a good idea

Same sex marriage is a growing issue in the United States. States, senators, and other political figures all over the country have fought both for and against gay marriage for years, and serious change has finally started to ensue.

One state in particular experiencing this change is the state of North Carolina. NC Amendment One, an amendment that will place a constitutional ban on same sex marriage, will appear on the May 8, 2012 ballot. This amendment, which states, Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State, will define marriages in North Carolina as a union between one man and one woman, leaving gay and lesbian people with no hope for any change in North Carolina marriage laws.

As expected, backlash has been extremely prevalent in regards to this amendment. Websites such as Protect NC Families preach awareness, conversation, and try to persuade voters to vote against this amendment in the spring. Sporting the headline “With 1,000,000 conversations we can defeat Amendment One,” Protect NC Families positively urges voters to take action against the injustice and to get involved by hosting conversations and donating to the cause.

This amendment would not only stifle the personal lives of the people of North Carolina, but would also harm the state’s ability to recruit jobs and business. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said she believes that if this amendment is passed, businesses and companies will not settle in North Carolina, which would not only harm the economy, but families and children all over the state.

Dr. Marvin M. Ellison, an ordained Presbyterian minister who has published on the topics of same sex marriage and sexuality and the scared, spoke at Elon University this past Friday. In his speech, he addressed the fact that marriage traditionalists are wary of same sex marriage because the believe it will erase gender differences. Societal norms of picture-perfect families containing a wife, husband, and their children have been beaten in the minds of humanity for a very long period of time. Ellison proposed a “love for all” approach rather than rigid and traditional views of marriage.

“Change is possible,” Ellison said, “the personal is never only personal.”

Bill Clinton: The personal is political

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, is one of the most controversial men to grace the White House. Born and raised in Arkansas, Clinton said in his autobiography, My Life, “Sometime in my sixteenth year, I decided I wanted to be in public life as an elected official.” He attended many different schools, including Georgetown University, Oxford, and Yale University, studying philosophy, politics, and economics. During his time at Yale University, he met and married Hillary Rodham. In 1978, Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas, earning the title of the youngest governor in the country. During his term, Clinton focused specifically on the Arkansas education system, transforming it into one of the best education systems in the country.

Clinton ran for office in the 1992 election against Republican candidate George H.W. Bush, and claimed the title of President of the United States, beginning his first term in January 1993. Over his first term, Clinton focused on trying to cap the budget deficit by raising taxes, trying to put a health care reform plan in action, and implementing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, allowing homosexual people to serve in the military provided that they do not reveal their sexual preference.

Although some were not happy with Clinton’s political agenda, controversy ensued when Clinton was caught lying about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The two began their affair in 1995, and news of the affair broke on January 17, 1988 on the Drudge Report. Clinton immediately denied the affair, stating, “I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.”

Although he denied the scandal, Clinton became the second president to be impeached in December 1998. Newspapers, online articles, televisions and radios all over the country focused on Clinton’s infidelity, causing much uproar in the homes of Americans. Clinton’s blunders filled the minds of faithful supporters, and society developed many differing opinions as to his morality.

In my generation specifically, I feel that people saw Bill Clinton as a beacon of hope, a man who would change the direction of the country, and a family man. However, these hopes were shattered when the scandal broke, and my generation began to see Clinton as a man who had lied to them for many years. Because of this affair, Clinton’s policies and promises were no longer as important as his personal choices. My generation lost trust and hope, and although he was a brilliant man with ideas and plans, he was viewed differently because of his choices. Women everywhere lost hope in Clinton, as they empathized with his wife.

In a 2008 article about Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the affair, author Sally Bedell Smith wrote, “But unless evidence of his affairs proved incontrovertible, she simply preferred to turn a blind eye. To keep her marriage going, she had years ago devised a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach.”

As a young child during the Clinton era, I was oblivious to politics and the severity of the situation. However, hearing my parents and grandparents speak negatively about the affair definitely shaped my opinion. I feel that many people will forever look back at Clinton’s presidency and only remember his affair rather than his political advancements.

In the Clinton scandal, the personal was definitely political. A brilliant man with a strong set of beliefs, expectations, and hopes was overtaken by his personal choices.

Definitely a “Super” Bowl

 

On February 5, 2012, an estimated 111 million people tuned into NBC to watch the New York Giants conquer the New England Patriots in football’s biggest game, according to Yahoo! Sports. The Super Bowl, which began in 1920, has become more than just an American football game; it has become a celebration, a call for friendly gatherings, a fierce competition, and a time to reconnect with friends and family around a television.

With a name derived from the classic college football bowl games, the Super Bowl is held annually as the final game of the National Football League playoffs. The location of the game changes annually, and this year, it was held at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to an article by Mason Levinson, seats at the Feb. 5 game sold for an average of $3,664 a piece, and according to ESPN, companies paid about 3.5 million dollars for a 30 second commercial slot.

Family and friends gather across the world to watch players tackle each other and sprint to the end zone in order to gain the title of Super Bowl champion. So why is the Super Bowl such a huge event? The answer is simple, the Super Bowl is not simply a football game, it is a tradition. In my home, Super Bowl Sunday is not a day that is focused solely on football. Rather, it is a day where my mother invites the family, neighbors, and close friends to gather around our wide-screen television and cheer on a team that we may know nothing about.

In addition to a four hour football game, the Super Bowl is packed with advertisements and commercials that viewers love to watch, rate, and discuss.

In a New York Times NFL Blog, George Vecsey said, “It’s a whole separate industry, making and publicizing the commercials. Sometimes more people talk about the halftime show or the commercials than they do about the game.”

These advertisements are not only relatable, but are interesting, funny, and easy to understand. Countless men, women, and children have reiterated, “The commercials are the best part” when referring to the Super Bowl. When it comes to these advertisements, companies work all year to perfect a quick commercial looking to sell a product while simultaneously entertaining an audience.

Another huge part of the Super Bowl, the halftime show, brought in 114 million viewers this year according to an article on The Inquisitr. Madonna, style icon and performer, took the stage alongside Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo Green as both on and off screen audiences watched intently, ready to dissect the performance as soon as it ended.

This constant hype that surrounds the Super Bowl makes it a huge event for everyone, including those who do not take particular interest in football. For these reasons, the Super Bowl is not simply a game, but an event, a memory, and a reason to share conversation and laughter among friends, family and acquaintances.

To occupy or not to occupy?

Last September, men and women all over the country with similar political and economic views joined together in protest. These men and women, deeming themselves the 99% of Americans, shared common goals in looking to punish and acknowledge the greed of the remaining 1% of Americans.

Protestors gathered in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District on September 17, 2011, armed with opinions, signs and slogans that sought to uncover the corruption of the nation’s billionaires and chief executive officers. Although this movement, named the occupy movement, began with little support and recognition, within days, people from all over the country joined the protest, seeking to end the corporate greed they believed to be present in America.

Because the occupy movement began on Wall Street without a leader and with few supporters, it was originally considered to be scattered and unorganized. In an interview with CBS in November, Lisa Fritch, Tea Party Activist and author of “Obama, Tea Parties & God,” spoke about the movement, stating, “There’s no leadership in all of this chaos…this group could not have a leader if they tried…this is a radical, dangerous, and increasingly violent movement.”

Although the occupy movement may have been chaotic and muddled, it succeeded in raising debate among Americans. Conflicting opinions brought up the ubiquitous issue of class warfare, causing people to take a stance either for or against the movement. In his piece, “Lessons Learned from #OWS,” Shen Tong, an Occupy Wall Street activist and writer for the Huffington Post, wrote, “The movement has called for communal conversations in hundreds of American cities to successfully shift national dialogue from hypocritical austerity discussion to social and economic fairness.” A movement that causes strong opinion and debate among Americans is indeed a successful one.

As the occupy movement grew over time, protestors and supporters began to occupy cities all over the world. When occupiers arrived in Washington D.C. in early December 2011, they built a fort to keep comfortable and warm while they protested. That same day, police tore the fort down in an effort to end the movement, according to an article by David Weigel. In the article, occupier Asantewaa Nkruma-Ture spoke about police efforts to end the movement, saying, “There are dilapidated houses where people have wanted building inspectors to come for years. They keep calling, no one comes. This house goes up, and they’re here the same day!”

Although this movement has caused a multitude of debates and opinions, it is still lacking in structure and firm organization. The Occupy Wall Street website contains a  proposed list of demands written by an occupier, including everything from creating a universal healthcare system to ending the “war on drugs.” Because demands and needs are unique to each occupier, the movement does not appear strong enough to evoke serious change in the government. In an article titled Do we know what OWS wants yet? by Joan Walsh, she quotes David Graeber, who says, “Clearly, if progressive change was not possible through electoral means in 2008, it simply isn’t going to be possible at all. And that is exactly what very large numbers of Americans appear to have concluded.” The occupy movement has definitely caused conflict and altered the way Americans communicate, but without strong organization and radical leaders, the change that these occupiers seek may not be possible.

Santorum sweeps 3 Republican caucuses

Rick Santorum swept the Republican caucuses yesterday, with victories in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri. These close victories placed Santorum above tough competitors Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, as results show that Santorum led Romney by a mere 5.3% in Colorado. According to FOX News, these victories raise doubts and stifle previous progress that Romney has made in states such as Florida and Nevada.

According to CNN, Santorum told a crowd in Missouri, “I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

Santorum made it a point to contrast his politics with Romney’s, calling Romney’s political positions extremely similar to those of Barack Obama. Santorum also referenced a comment that Romney made concerning his campaign and its unconcern with the poor.

“I care about the very rich and the poor…I care about 100 percent of America,” Santorum told supporters, according to NBC.

As the night wound to a close, reporters questioned Romney as to why he had previously felt confident that he would finish first in Colorado.

“This was a good night for Rick Santorum,” Romney told reporters as he watched himself fall short in all 3 states.