Marist Unveils North Campus Dining Center

 (From left to right) Giovanni Rossi, President David Yellen and Executive Vice President Geoffrey Brackett.  Photo courtesy of Marist Athletics. 

(From left to right) Giovanni Rossi, President David Yellen and Executive Vice President Geoffrey Brackett. Photo courtesy of Marist Athletics. 

By Brian Edsall

Hundreds of students overflowed Marist College’s new North Campus Dining Center during its ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday evening.

“We have a very enthusiastic, potentially unruly crowd here,” said President David Yellen, addressing the crowd. “Rossi’s may have something to do with the size and enthusiasm.”

Yellen stood alongside Executive Vice President Geoffrey Brackett and Giovanni Rossi, founder of Rossi & Son’s Rosticceria. The crowd of students cheered emphatically as the ribbon was cut.

The most notable option found in the new dining center is Rossi & Sons Rosticceria, a favorite off-campus option of Marist students which has received outstanding reviews on Buzzfeed, Spoon University, Hudson Valley Magazine, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

 Rossi and Sodexo staff preparing sandwich samples for Marist students.

Rossi and Sodexo staff preparing sandwich samples for Marist students.

The dining facility also features extensive new options, such as a bakery, pizza, pasta, grill, eggs, smoothies, a salad bar - all of which offer tailor-made options for each individual student.

Sodexo staff prepared free samples from each station, while the Marist’s jazz band, the ‘Jazz Foxes,’ provided music for the evening.

Luigi Sinapi, Catering Director of Sodexo at Marist, stated that the Sodexo staff has also expressed excitement about the new dining center, which features some of the most advanced culinary equipment.

 Frankie the Fox helping Rossi's and Sodexo staff prepare food samples.

Frankie the Fox helping Rossi's and Sodexo staff prepare food samples.

“Tomorrow's equipment is here today,” said Sinapi. “It’s just amazing.”

Colene Doughty, General Manager of Sodexo at Marist College, highlighted that the new dining center is a “state-of-the-art facility” built to be “sustainably conscious,” following Marist’s commitment to sustainability.

According to Doughty, the lights and the HVAC system “works contingent to the population.” A larger presence of people will automatically increase the brightness of the lights and increase air conditioning. The opposite is true when presence decreases.

The facility includes a banquet room which can be used to accommodate large-scale events.

“The College is deeply committed to the economic health of the Hudson Valley,” said Brackett to Marist Media Relations. “Having the infrastructure in place to hold events and welcome guests from outside the area plays a key role in the economic engine of the region.”

Tables also feature USB ports and outlets, welcoming students to charge devices and complete work as they eat.

Marist hopes this new dining center will assist in reducing overcrowding across Marist dining facilities.

 Hundreds of students fill the new dining center, eager to try free food samples from the various stations.

Hundreds of students fill the new dining center, eager to try free food samples from the various stations.

“As Marist grows, the community continues to support its initiatives and developing the future,” said Doughty. “There’s over 750 students on this side alone, so now they won’t have to travel all the way to the other side of campus.”

“We may need to expand already,” she laughed.

Some students feel that this facility introduces much-needed change to Marist’s dining options.

“I don’t think the dining hall food has a lot of variety,” said sophomore Kelly Engelhardt. “I’m most excited about Rossi’s and the smoothies...they don’t have smoothies anywhere else on campus.”

“The dining hall food is bland to me, there’s no other way to describe it,” added freshman Maria Serrano. “It’s the same thing every day.”

Both Engelhardt and Serrano have opted to eat most of their meals off-campus in dissatisfaction with the main dining hall. However, both believe that this new facility may draw them to eat on campus more often.

According to Marist Media Relations, the North Campus project is “part of the largest capital project in the College’s history,” providing “enhanced community space for students, faculty, and staff to Marist.”

Final landscaping is expected to be completed this summer, adding to campus spaces which highlight the views of the Hudson River.

Brian Edsall