“Green is a very soothing color,” said Helmut Mayer, Director of Dining Services on the proposed new color palate of the Hard Knox Café, “but not that green.”
Due to overwhelming student disapproval, the colors selected by the Student Senate Dining Services Committee last year will not coat the walls of the cafeteria this winter.
“My first day back on campus I saw the color scheme sample. I thought it was really terrible,” said Annika Paulsen, a member of last year’s Dining Services Committee that proposed the color change.
It is not the color of the cafeteria that is so much the issue, according to 2008-2009 Student Senate Dining Services Chair Zack Lazar ‘10, but campus presentation and pride.
“We wanted to make it into a place students could design rather than a standard industrial cafeteria,” said Lazar stressing that the Hard Knox Café is not only a space in which students spend a great deal of time, but also a regular stop for prospective students and other guests to the Knox College campus.
The project began in the fall of 2008 and was intended to encourage students and student senators to become more active players in the appearance of the campus.
Changing the color scheme was a simple and affordable way to “make [the Hard Knox Café] more habitable,” said Lazar. Helmut Mayer was enthusiastic about the project, according to the former senate chair.
Neither Paulsen nor Lazar had any personal attachment to the color scheme, the approval of which was deferred to the committee rather than presented to senate as a whole due to time constraints.
“We wanted anything but psych-ward purple and white sucks, especially with the fluorescent lights,” said Lazar.
Despite the passionate objection to the originally proposed palate, the cafeteria will undergo a color change over winter break. A professional painter will create three new themes to be voted on by students this term.
“The colors have to match the vinyl siding, the carpet, and the chairs,” said Mayer.
Mayer and the Dining Services Committee have considered a number of other aesthetic changes to the cafeteria. Lazar explored the possibility of replacing the outdated prints currently adorning the walls with student artwork. He encourages student artists to consider donating their work to the beautification of the cafeteria. Mayer and Lazar would also like to replace the blinds in the Hard Knox Café, but the cost of such a project is too high at this time.
According to Lazar, changing the cafeteria is a step towards something much larger.
“We need to start taking pride in public spaces here,” he said.
Students can begin by voting on the new color schemes, which will be on display in the very near future.