Dining Hall Updates

Student Government’s (SG) first meeting of November covered some renovation updates concerning RIT’s well-known dining hall, Gracie’s. Phase one of these renovations were completed back in August 2019, bringing a new stone pizza oven and a roomier kitchen to the dining facility.

With phase one complete, representatives from RIT housing and dining presented potential renovation plans for phase two to SG members. The renovations for phase two seek to update seating, general layout and traffic flow issues that have been areas of concern for Gracie’s in the past.

As part of the presentation, initial interior design drawings, produced by Rochester-based company LaBella Associates, were shown to SG members to obtain feedback on how these ideas may impact the student body. Accompanying the initial sketches were schematics that showed areas of noisiness, common congregation and time lapse movement of students throughout the day to give context as to why the drawings were sketched out the way they were.

LaBella Associates wanted to reconfigure and redesign the layout of Gracie’s in an effort to maximize the dining experience of the students and staff that eat there; they thought studying this data would aid the effort. They also hope to create a layout that eases the workload of Gracie’s staff.

In addition to schematics and drawings, the presentation included pictures of proposed furniture and tables that would be considered for outfitting the dining hall once renovations are completed. The presenters even pitched the idea of having physical pieces of the pictured furniture brought in so that students could try out and give feedback on what they think about them.

Throughout the presentation, SG expressed what they would like to have happen during the renovations that they think may improve the quality of life for the students they represent.

Some of these ideas included increasing the number of circular booths that already exist in Gracie’s, as they are popular among students, and rethinking a proposal that would add conference room type seating to the dining hall. The Senators were concerned with the lack of amenities, such as bathrooms and electrical outlets, that limit the amount of time students would spend working in these conference type rooms.

The housing and dining administrators were thankful for the professional feedback they received from SG.


Reports were taken soon after the conclusion of the presentation. Topics ranged from committee updates, to events involving SG around campus, to praise from other staff who were thankful for the support of Senators on ongoing projects.

Advisers also briefly weighed in on reports, encouraging Senators to attend an upcoming event in the Gordon Field House that allowed SG the rare opportunity to connect with members of the RIT Board of Trustees.

New CAD Senator

SG welcomed the addition of Bayleigh Thurston, the new College of Art and Design Senator, to the student representative group. Bayleigh was selected to represent the college after the Senators had her answer a multitude of questions and carefully deliberate her entry.

After being confirmed to SG, Bayleigh introduced herself to fellow members and laid out her plans for bettering the lives of the students she now represents in the College of Art and Design.

SG Awards

Before adjourning for the night, awards were presented to various Senators for their hard work and dedication to events involving SG. Some of these awards included the Senator of the month, as well as acknowledgements for feats attained by members of committees; these members cleared major charges that affect student life across campus.