Whether students are complaining about the food or visiting the cafeteria every day to socialize, this September marks the tenth year Shafer has been the center of the VCU campus.
VCU Dining Services hosted its first Shafer carnival Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to celebrate the building’s tenth year. It included attractions such as a balloon animal station, Einstein’s Bagels samples and a prize wheel where students could win t-shirts, flying disks, cups, bowls or foam footballs.Also present: a station where students could sample Lipton tea brands, a DJ and students could also get caricatures drawn.
“Shafer really is kind of a main point on campus, especially with the compass and the library,” said Kristan Cole the marketing, trademarks and licensing manager for VCU business services.
Cole said they wanted to make the day fun while also celebrating dining services, students and university partners such as Aramark.
Within the dining hall, Cole said food which cooks observed to be “student favorites” were served. A lunch special began at 11 a.m. which included foods such as Uppercuts Snow Crab Legs, shrimp fajitas, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens, baked macaroni and double stack mushroom and swiss burger. For the dinner special, which started at 4 p.m., foods such as buffalo bleu chicken sandwiches, tofu lo mein, pork stir fry, Uppercuts seared lobster tail, french dip sandwiches, funnel cakes and cotton candy were offered.
There was also a cupcake decorating station, a water balloon tossing tournament outside at 3 p.m. and a pie eating contest at 7 p.m. The winner of the [ie eating contest received a VCU prize pack which included items such as a $50 gift card to Chili’s and a $25 gift card to Starbucks.
“We’re going to be recognizing some of the employees that have been here since the start of Shafer,” Cole said about the carnival plans. “And we have a shafer modeled cake that we’re having at 3:30.”
Cole said VCU’s main dining cafeteria was held in Hibbs Hall before the creation of Shafer Dining Hall. Though the Market 810 building first opened early September ten years ago, the carnival date was chosen because it better correlated with student schedules and the academic calendar.
“I think it’s important that we’re celebrating Shafer and the people that make Shafer happen,” Cole said. “The employees, the students that eat here, the faculty and staff that also eat here and just being part of the community, that’s really what today is about.”
One student who attended the carnival was junior criminal justice major Tracy Branch who learned about the event through the Telegram. Branch participated by visiting tents such as the balloon station and said the carnival was a great activity.
Another participant was freshman education major Joann Patterson who said she decided to attend the event after leaving class and seeing an advertisement on a flyer.
“Since I’ve never been to one it’s actually different,” Patterson said. “I like the music and I actually like that you can have caricatures and take pictures.”