October 22, 2001

Pizza Comes to Ivy Room

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As they returned from fall break, students were greeted with a new pizza station in the Ivy Room of Willard Straight Hall, located outside the main serving area.

Stone Palace Pizza, which had been in the works since the beginning of the fall semester, features a mixture of calzones and pizza pies catering to the lunch and dinner crowd.

According to Nadeem E. Siddiqui, director of Cornell Dining, the idea sprang from Martin Orlando, Cornell Dining’s general manager.

Siddiqui and his staff responded to surveys administered to students last year that demonstrated a need for pizza on Central Campus.

According to Siddiqui, the overall idea is to give more options to those that choose to eat in the Ivy Room, increasing the variety of food available.

The room behind Stone Palace Pizza now caters to pizza eaters with its red and white-checkered tablecloths, reflecting a pizza-parlor atmosphere.

“I love the station. The location here in the Ivy Room is excellent. You are no longer limited to traditional sandwiches,” said Cornell Dining employee Lisa Hunt.

In the past, the Ivy Room service area was crowded at peak dining periods, according to Siddiqui. As a result, Stone Palace Pizza was built outside the service area with a cash machine that works with meal plans so students are able to purchase their pizza products directly instead of passing through the turnstiles into the main serving area.

“It’s great that you don’t have to wait in long lines if you are just looking for pizza. I appreciate the convenience,” said Maki Ueyama grad.

“It is hard to say whether or not it will alleviate traffic. It seems like a good idea. The increase in options available doesn’t concern me,” said Kevin Lamb grad.

Siddiqui pointed out how important it is for students to be able to get pizza on central campus instead of seeking it out on North or West Campus.

However, he reported that traffic rates are fairly consistent with all of the meal equivalency dining facilities like the Ivy Room across campus.

Despite new dining options at the Ivy Room, some students still have reservations about the changes they have seen since the beginning of the semester.

“The station is not a replacement for the salad bar. It isn’t really needed in the Ivy Room specifically, but I’ll be using it. Bring back the salad bar,” said Julie Kim ’02.

Even though a few have voiced concern regarding the changes, Siddiqui said that he feels that student approval has been positive overall.

“We have seen some increase in our overall satisfaction rating so far, which reflects that people have a good feeling about the increase in choices available in the Ivy Room,” Siddiqui noted.

“We will be doing more surveys in person, in addition to polling on the World Wide Web about our most recent changes in November,” Siddiqui said.

In addition to some appearance changes and new food options in Trillium, the Libe Caf