Liberty News

Students experience a night in New York City at dining hall event

February 27, 2015 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty University's dining hall was transformed into New York City on Thursday night.

Liberty University’s Reber-Thomas Dining Hall was transformed into New York City on Thursday night as part of a “staycation” event hosted by Sodexo, the university’s dining services provider. This event is just one of the ways that Sodexo seeks to make dining at Liberty a unique experience.

 “The ‘staycation’ aspect is what we wanted the students to feel as they enjoyed authentic city food in the fun atmosphere we created for them,” said Casey Guise, Sodexo unit marketing coordinator.

The event raised money for Lynchburg Daily Bread, a local food bank that feeds the homeless in the Lynchburg community.

“For an event of this scale, we decided it was a great opportunity to ask the campus to give back to the community, and their outpouring of donations was truly inspiriting,” Guise said.

Dining stations were redecorated and renamed after notable New York landmarks — such as Yankee Stadium, The Plaza Hotel, Wall Street, and Central Park — and offered foods associated with the city, including hot dogs, soft pretzels, Reubens, pizza, cheesecake, and cannolis.

Students and faculty members also showcased their talents, performing musical and dance acts that created a lively atmosphere.  A photo booth gave guests the chance to take photos with New York-themed props and even a living Statue of Liberty.

The event is part of Sodexo’s national promotion, “Campus Staycation,” where students can win trips to Orlando, Fla., Los Angeles, Calif., and New York City by entering online during the month of February.

Liberty Dining has regularly been recognized nationally for its efforts to provide a top-notch dining atmosphere on campus. In 2012, Liberty ranked in the top 20 for “Best Cafeteria Variety” by, an online college database that uses student input to rank nearly 7,000 schools nationwide. In 2013, Liberty was ranked as the third healthiest college in the United States, and Food Management magazine also awarded Sodexo with the Best Wellness Concept award for its Simple Servings station at the dining hall.