After months of anticipation, The University of Texas-Pan American administrators, staff and student advisors marked the opening of four new food vendors in the Student Union food court with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, Dec. 3.
University officials said the new vendors - Sub Connection, Freshen's Yogurt, Starbucks Coffee and the first Dickey's Barbecue in an educational institution - were brought in according to students' requests.
"This is a student-driven project," said Jim Langabeer, UTPA vice president for Business Affairs. "We changed food vendors because students asked us to."
Dean of Students Elvie Davis said the new vendors were part of a continued vision for a functional Student Union offering services to assist students.
"This is a major step in completion of the Union," she said. "We will continue to do things the way students want."
Representatives from the Student Union Advisory Board, which helped plan and oversee the project, said they were happy with the results.
"We would like to thank the University administration for their seen and unseen support," said Hector Leal, chair of the Student Union Advisory Board.
The $7 million Student Union Building was completed last year . The 44,000-square-foot building houses a variety of student activities, including a 500-seat theater for live performances and first-run movies, a commons area, convenience store, food court with inside and outside dining areas, game room, study areas, multipurpose meeting and study session rooms, and TV lounge.