By Caitlin Raye Contributing Writer
In a vacant South Dining Hall, surrounded by the loud noise of the radio coming from the overhead speaker, sat a humble and beloved member of the Sodexo employee staff.
Eloise Wallace, a Sodexo employee, can almost always be found in the South Dining Hall twice a day, greeting students and swiping dining hall cards with a smile. Before working in the dining hall, Wallace taught at the childcare center on campus for 25 years, has been a student herself, and even worked on-campus while she was a high school student. Wallace has worked at UMF for a total of 34 years.
Eloise Wallace is a beloved member of both Sodexo and the UMF community.
Marshall Maxsimic, a junior, described Wallace in an email interview as someone who “is just always smiling and always interacting with students.” Maxsimic continued by saying, “Students know that if they are having a bad day, they will see Eloise later and she will ask them how things are going or wish them a happy Friday. There is no better feeling than entering the weekend with a ‘happy Friday’ from Eloise.”
When asked what qualities make her a good employee, Wallace was unable to say but expressed that, “I try to make sure I greet each [student] that comes through and that I do it with a smile. I try to make sure that everybody feels that they are an important part of this and want to come back again.”
Wallace continued by saying, “IIt doesn’t matter who anyone is or what their dress is, what their skin color is, what their orientation is. People are people!”
Eila McCulloch, a freshman, said in an email interview, “I have a very difficult name to pronounce. It is always mispronounced or butchered in some way, shape or form.” McCulloch said that “[Wallace] would stop me and make sure she was saying my name correctly whenever I came into the dining hall for lunch, until she was sure she had it right. It absolutely warmed my heart to know that someone would care that much about the students they see every day, especially when I am just one person of thousands on this campus.”
Maxsimic said, “[Wallace] always welcomes me with a smile to the dining hall. She also knows pretty much everyone’s name and uses their name when she greets them. I think that is pretty telling about her friendliness.”
In her years working at the dining hall, Wallace has won the “Dining Hall Staff Award,” voted by students each year. Wallace has received this award around 8 to 11 times. The award has recently been renamed the Eloise Wallace Dining Center Award.
Wallace expressed her gratitude by saying, “I’m very honored and I appreciate it. I think being recognized by you students is so much more than somebody walking out of the office and somebody said something like good job.”
While Wallace is thankful for the support and praise from the students, she explained that she no long wishes to be picked to receive the award because it is now named after her and feels she should not being given her own award. Wallace expressed that is it time for someone else to receive the recognition they deserve.
When talking about the award, Wallace felt that the whole dining hall staff deserved the award. “We are a team and it’s a team effort. And when somebody is out, we notice,” Wallace said. “This team, this group, nobody has a grudge for anyone. You just fill in. They do it for me so why not do it from them. I think that goes all the way around.”
Maxsimic and McCulloch both agree that Wallace is likable. Maxsimic said, “She is so likeable because she is very genuine in how she treats everyone. She is one hundred percent real and she honestly makes everyone feel good when they are interacting with her.” McCulloch echoed Maxsimic’s opinion by adding, “She is so likeable because she has such a warm personality and always radiates positivity.”
Outside of working, Wallace enjoys spending time at sporting events on campus, her favorite being basketball. Wallace enjoys the opportunity to go and watch, as well as speak with the players.
Outside of UMF, Wallace enjoys sewing and making quilts. She also likes to crochet and make afghan blankets. Along with sewing and crocheting, Wallace enjoys getting outside, going for walks and meeting up with friends. “I just enjoy living. I enjoy life and people,” Wallace said.
By Caitlin Raye Contributing Writer
It’s that time of year again, when snow is piling up and UMF facilities is working hard to keep the parking lots clear and free of snow for students and faculty.
Keenan Farwell, Grounds Manager at UMF, leads the facilities crew in charge of snow cleanup and parking lot bans. Facilities tries to clear the parking lots after receiving snowfall of more than 12 inches. They usually plan the parking bans during the school week, but do occasionally have to plan the bans for the weekends.
During a parking ban, students that have not moved vehicles from the closed lots get a parking ticket. Then they get a call, text, and email from Public Safety to have their vehicle moved, and if they do not move, they are then towed at their expense.
“We try to not tow but sometimes it is a necessity,” Farwell said.
Parking bans are done to help access the parking spaces. During the winter, snow builds up from plowing the throughways and makes a large berm in front of the cars, making it difficult to get in and out of the parking spots. Snow removal from lots helps with water build-up and also opens more spots to park.
Ana Drew, a resident hall CA, agreed that parking bans are important. “Cars start to get stuck if they aren’t cleared completely.”
Erika Tardif, a junior at UMF, agreed that parking bans are a good idea, but felt they could be handled differently. “I think they should do one lot at a time verses trying to clear four parking lots at a time, moving all those people into one parking lot,” Tardif said.
“The parking bans are never convenient for everyone, but it is something that is necessary to do to keep our parking lots safe during the winter months,” said Farwell. “We try to give plenty of notice and also plenty of space for the students and faculty to park during the bans.
Kelsey Brann, a sophomore at UMF, echoed Tardif’s frustration: “I think [parking bans] are inconvenient because we have to find somewhere else to put our cars.”
Although not everyone agrees that parking bans are convenient, Farwell said that “normally we only have parking bans on student parking lots because most of the staff and faculty lots are closed to overnight parking, so we have a chance to clear the snow from these lots before the cars park in them.”
Even when students agree that snow removal parking bans are necessary, there is disagreement on how to handle the snow removal. Drew would like to see the parking lot next to Scott Hall cleared more often, whereas Brann would like to see Lot 26 cleared.
By Caitlyn Raye Contributing Writer
Right now, many UMF students are either beginning the vigorous search for an apartment or choosing the easier option of life on campus in the residence halls.
Foothills is one of the many companies that students rent apartments through. (Photo by Eryn Finnegan)
Kelsey Champagne-Smith, the Assistant Director of Housing and Academic Success at UMF, explained in an email interview that the number of students on campus compared to students off campus is about half of the UMF population. When asked if UMF loses students to apartment companies each year, Champagne-Smith explained, “I don’t know if I would say we lose students to apartments. If you mean from year to year how many students do we retain in our campus housing, then that would be around 63 percent.”
The price of living on campus varies depending on the type of room a student lives in and the meal plan chosen. The average cost of a double room is $2519 a semester and the meal plans vary depending on year at UMF. Freshmen, however, are required to have meal plan A, which costs $2148 a semester. For a room and a meal plan on campus, a freshman will be paying around $4667 a semester, totaling $9334 for a whole year.
Kimberly Day, a junior at UMF, explains the decision to move off campus by saying that “living on campus is ridiculously expensive and you can save a lot more money by moving off campus.”
Day is convinced that living off campus is cheaper. “Based on doing the math, you save a pretty good amount of money but it is different for everybody because it depends on what your financial aid package is too and how much you will be getting back as a refund at the end of it,” Day said. “For me, I know I will be saving at least a couple thousand dollars by moving off campus.”
Day will pay approximately $380 a month for her apartment. Day has also calculated that the apartment will cost around $4600 a year, not including outside expenses like groceries.
Day explained other reasons for moving, such as “having the responsibility of my own place and having my own space and not having to share things like bathrooms.” Day also explained that a big pro of being off campus “would be not having to eat dining hall food.”
Although a student may be off campus, they still have access to the dining hall. Students living off campus have the choice to purchase a voluntary meal plan.
Kelsey Brann, a sophomore at UMF, lives in the Frances Allen Black (FAB) residence hall. Brann explained that the decision to stay on campus next semester was due to campus being convenient.
“It’s good to live on campus so you know where things are for the first year or two but I wouldn’t recommend all four years,” Brann said.
Brann does plan to move off campus at some point, but described the advantages to living on campus. Brann said that “the dining hall and snack bar are close by, so I do not have to cook for myself, as well as having my friends a short walk away.”
Champagne-Smith agreed and provided the pros of living on campus by saying, “living on campus provides students with secure housing and access to food through our dining services. Additionally, students who live on campus are able to interact with their peers, faculty, and staff on a regular basis. Programming such as CA events, the Landing Events, and club events are also easily accessible by students who live on campus. In Student Life, we hope that living on campus encourages personal and professional growth for UMF students through leadership opportunities and involvement in the community.” Champagne-Smith however did not provide any cons of living on campus.