Student Union aims to freshen up dining hall

April 30th, 2014

It’s not hard to see that the pictures hanging in the Schott Dining Hall are somewhat outdated. The dining hall is the only cafeteria on campus, unlike larger universities where there may be two or three different dining facilities. That is why making the cafeteria look its best is a primary concern of the facilities department and Student Union.


The dining committee agrees that sprucing up the dining hall would be a great way to show JCU pride on campus. The goal of the project is to display new pictures in the cafeteria. Some of those pictures will hopefully be drawn by Aramark employee Bernard Johnson.


Johnson has been a staff member of Schott Dining Hall for 23 years. When he isn’t working, you can find him in the cafeteria drawing and painting colorful pictures of landscapes, buildings and other things. Chair of the dining committee, sophomore Emily Wach, said, “We all see Bernard painting every day and want to showcase [his work] and help brighten up the Schott Dining Hall.”


They brought the idea to Aramark dining services– the company in charge of John Carroll’s dining. Aramark supported the proposal. However, they do not have the final say.


The dining committee brought the idea to Student Union, and they are now working on putting the idea into action. The idea must be brought to Residence Life and the facilities department before being approved.


Freshman senator Olivia Criss explained that all of Johnson’s canvas paintings somehow come together into one large project. Student Union wants to give him the opportunity to showcase those works together around the dining hall.


“We are starting by sprucing up the dining hall because it is a huge asset to tours,” said Criss. “Hanging Bernard’s paintings would give a unique meaning to our cafeteria.”


Along with Johnson’s paintings, the plan is to show current pictures in the dining hall. These pictures will display students, athletes and the school itself.


Chairperson of the Residence Life and facilities committee on Student Union, junior Chris Razek said, “We do not want to constrain our pictures to just athletes, but other groups, and students that go here now. The current students don’t even know the pictures of people in the cafeteria now.”


Residence Life is going through the process of overviewing the aesthetics of the school grounds before the end of the year. So, there has been some delay in speaking to them.


Criss plans to discuss the idea with the facilities department before school lets out for summer vacation. The hope is that the process will be done during the summer months.


The next step after speaking with the facilities department will be speaking with Residence Life, as well as Johnson. If he agrees, he will be commissioned for his work. If the idea goes through, the hope is that the pictures will change every four years to keep  the decor up to date.