Shocker Hall dining to offer extended hours


Shocker Hall is expected to be open by Fall of 2014. Its dining hall will be open to the community.

Though the food probably tastes the same, changes are coming to Shocker dining at Wichita State. Food options are being expanded to accommodate different students’ nationalities, and when Shocker Hall opens, the campus will see extended hours and choices.

Shocker Hall

“Shocker Dining,” the working name for the Shocker Hall cafeteria, will offer dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hall will also have a coffee shop serving snacks, Starbucks coffee and other beverages from 11 – 2 a.m., making it a resource for late-night studying and cravings.

The dining hall and café will be open to the community. Though prices haven’t been finalized, a flat fee for anyone without a meal plan, including students and the general public, will be used to pay for anything in the cafeteria.

“I think people will be knocking down the door to try and get in there,” said David Casida, general manager of Sodexo.

One possibility for the dining hall is having food preparation visible to customers, making the process more transparent. Shocker Dining will include more choices, including a pizza oven, deli station and options for those with diet restrictions or food allergies.

“We don’t want people to have to feel like they’re special or they’re outcast because they have to have something provided for them,” Casida said.

International options

With Sodexo as the food provider for WSU, all food on campus must go through them. That includes events hosted by student organizations, including international groups hosting cultural events. International groups sometimes have trouble finding dishes that Sodexo can create.

The exception is if a group has their food fully donated. Requests like that go through Wade Robinson, vice president for Campus Life and University Relations.

“No one’s going to make it like their grandmother makes it or their mother makes it,” said Darren Beckham, president of Student Government Association.

Casida said students can always give a recipe to chefs, and they’ll do their best.

“It can be hard to replicate,” he said.

For now, the only change to international food is Masala’s menu. The restaurant will be focusing more on Indian cuisine and less on overall Asian food.

Once the food provider contract is up for renewal, Beckham wants students to be involved in the process for deciding what goes into that contract. Possibilities like allowing students to bring in outside food for events could be on the table when that time comes.

One of Beckham’s initiatives was having SGA representation on the committee for food options at Rhatigan Student Center. He said students need to be informed about issues on campus and look for solutions.

“Don’t just talk about what’s wrong,” Beckham said. “Stand up and be heard, but know what you’re talking about.”