I am a sophomore student at the University of Oklahoma and over the past few months a very special place has been torn away from the community. During spring break of last semester the building called Cate Main had gone through what my friends and I thought was just renovation. Then sometime in June I was talking with one of my close friends who works at the OU Housing and Food department informed me that the building would be shut down as we know it and that it will be used for production purposes.
The reason why this shutdown is so important and frustrating is that no students were asked about the decision. I believe that if students' opinions had been involved that the popular spot on campus would be experiencing no new changes for the upcoming fall semester. The Cate Main building housed five eating options including a Taco Mayo, an all day breakfast restaurant, a burger grill, a sandwich shop and a coffee area with sushi. Not only did Cate have a variety of food options, it was a good centralized place within the residential part of campus.
The subject of this closure has come up in conversations I've had with my friends who also share their disapproval of the changes being made. A friend who is involved with the campus organization Chi Alpha, said that Cate was a great hub for all the campus ministry groups and the place itself was a great place to make connections in the OU community. I personally believe that, as a freshman, I visited Cate at least once a day to either eat, meet up with friends, or simply get out of the weather.
The renovations that had been done on the building back in the spring was done to correct water drainage in the area and believe me there were some really deep puddles every time it rained. The director of Housing and Food at OU, Dave Annis, said that the new Cross Community that will be opening in the fall will satisfy all students with variety of food options.
The only issue I and many others have with this statement is that the Cross restaurant options are so out of the way that college students who may only have a 30 minute lunch break will never waste their time walking 15 minutes there and back to grab lunch. This may make the lunch rush in the student union even worse, which I didn't know was possible. Annis also mentioned that the Cate building will serve grab-and-go food in the upcoming school year, but I doubt that will be anywhere near as satisfying as a warm quick meal like was previously offered.
The Cate dorms will also face closure leaving freshman students with the Towers as their only dorm options. All of these changes along with a new president should make for a very interesting school year.