Source: The Red and Black
By Natalie David
For the Red & Black
August 23, 2004
With the opening of the new Joe Frank Harris Commons, students now have access to more than the average dining hall.
The new building showcases a miniature food court featuring coffee, ice cream and gourmet sandwiches for the meal plan challenged -- or those simply willing to throw down a few extra bucks for Edy's or Seattle's Best -- in addition to comfortable and enclosed areas for studying.
The Red Clay Cafe, home to Sweet Java Brown's, Frostworks and Between the Bread, sits just inside the main entrance to the commons, but is it as convenient as it is tempting?
It is for Robert Carter, a junior from Hinesville.
"I have classes near here for Biochemistry," he said. "It's just convenient to have something like this on South Campus."
However, the location isn't ideal for all students.
Katie Gaffoglio, a freshman from Cartersville, said, "It's convenient to students who live in the East Campus Village and those with parking passes to nearby lots, otherwise it's not as convenient as other dining halls."
But for some, the murmurs of the stomach speak just as loud as the ticking of the clock.
"It looks really nice," said Stephanie Patat, a senior from Monroe. "There are lots of choices to eat lunch without having to go off campus."
While waiting for her sandwich, she said she would eat there on average about once a week.
The Red Clay Cafe also may offer convenience to meal plan students who find themselves in a rush.
Gaffoglio said she probably would still pay for Red Clay Cafe's goodies even though she's on the meal plan.
"Sometimes it's easier to get something to go than to sit and eat here," she said.
Not all students agree.
Alicia Hudson, a senior from Alpharetta, when asked if she would spend the extra money for a sandwich or cup of coffee, said, "No, not when I can get it pre-paid upstairs."
Hunger pangs not withstanding, the commons offer comfortable and, for the time being, quiet study areas that add to the overall functionality of the building.
"It's not really convenient, but it's a nice quiet place," Hudson said. "I would go out of my way for some peace and quiet. It's a nice nook to study in."
Carter added, "I like the atmosphere. I think it would be a nice place to do work.
"It's a nice addition to the campus," he said.