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Union could 86 Redington faculty dining program

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Patrick Call (left), assistant director for residence education, and Pima Residence Hall Director Mel-Lynn Engle, enjoy a conversation over lunch yesterday in Redington Restaurant in the Student Union Memorial Center. Redington After Hours, a program designed for faculty and staff, may be eliminated due to a lack of interest.
By Kylee Dawson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 14, 2004
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Redington After Hours, a program exclusively for faculty and staff, might be eliminated due to a lack of interest.

In response to faculty requests for a gathering place on campus geared specifically for them, Redington After Hours is only open for UA faculty and staff Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

But not many faculty or staff have visited the restaurant during the designated hours, said Dan Adams, director of Arizona Student Unions.

"At this point, we're trying to gauge what services faculty and staff are interested in, or if there is something else keeping them from using the space," Adams said.

Jory Hancock, faculty chair and head of the UA dance department, said possible reasons faculty and staff are not attending Redington After Hours could be that alcohol cannot be served and the hours do not appeal to faculty and staff.

Avery Carter, a UA psychology junior, works as a hostess and cook during the Redington After Hours program and said many faculty and staff have requested alcohol.

The UA is a dry campus so it is illegal to offer or sell alcohol anywhere on campus, said Martha Ramirez, dining services supervisor.

However, Hancock said he thought it would help with attendance.

"I think faculty would like to have alcohol," Hancock said. "I think that would make a difference."

Ramirez monitors the traffic at the Redington Restaurant, and said an average of 140 to 160 students, faculty and staff dine at the Redington daily during regular business hours. Most of them are faculty.

"Sometimes we don't have room to sit them down and we get a lot of reservations too," Ramirez said.

Since last semester, Ramirez said the number of faculty and staff dining at the Redington Restaurant has increased during regular hours, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., possibly due to word of mouth.

Carter said some faculty members bring students and teaching assistants to help grade papers, but not many come regularly to socialize.

"They don't have a reason to come because a lot of them come by themselves, so they get lonely," Carter said.

More than two dozen faculty and staff members attended the first day of the Redington After Hours program on Sept. 8.

"Since then, it's been very quiet," Adams said. "Collectively, over the past six weeks, there have been only about 20 visitors."

Adams said faculty should be settled into their class schedules by now, so he cannot understand why they are not going to Redington After Hours.

Arizona Student Unions has spent over $2,500 to maintain Redington After Hours, which includes tablecloths, food and labor costs, Adams said.

"It's difficult to keep doing staffing costs," he said. "We can't continue to pour money into a hole."

Adams, Hancock and Arizona Student Unions staff developed the idea for the Redington club after 437 faculty and staff members completed a survey last spring, which helped administrators decide if there should be a gathering place on campus for faculty and staff.

"We'd love to get some feedback from faculty, but at this point we've heard nothing," Adams said. "Our intent was to get it established and then query the people who attended to find out what they're interested in."

Verlaine Walker, a UA pre-law coordinator, said the concept is great because it gives faculty and staff from various departments and colleges to associate with individuals with whom they normally would not be able to associate.

She said faculty and staff might not be attending Redington After Hours because the hours are too late.

"At 3 o'clock, you're very tired," Walker said. "I would like to see it from 2 o'clock on. Also, why not five days a week?"

Hancock said the time frame, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. was the most popular selected by faculty and staff surveyed. He said he thinks the problem is prompted by a lack of awareness.

"My perception is that they're just not used to having a place to go," Hancock said.

Walker also suggested the program offer alcohol, such as wine and beer, as well as a hi-tea to improve After Hours attendance.

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