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ARAMARK sponsors Commuter Appreciation Day

By Melanie Mann
On September 3, 2013

  • Lauren Heuer, (left) a sophomore education major and Helen Claire Jewell, (right) a junior education major stop by the Kellog's table to pick up some free samples. Melanie Mann
  • Students at Commuter Appreciation Day received free samples from companies like Kellogs and Core Power Milk Energy. Melanie Mann

Commuters who felt left out from Cayman cuisine were able to console themselves with free samples, dessert and pants at Commuter Appreciation Day.
Commuter Appreciation Day, sponsored by ARAMARK, was held in the Cayman Café on Wednesday the 28th with the purpose of immersing commuters in everything that Cayman Café has to offer.
"We typically don't get a lot of commuter students that come to Cayman," said Robin Parker, director of Auxiliary Services. "I think a lot of it is perception. I think a lot of commuter students may think that it's only for residential students, but that's not the case."
Vendors from several corporations supplied students with free food and drinks, while also promoting their products. Each booth brought a different experience. Kim Caballero, market manager for Kellogs, offered prizes, including bright orange pants dotted with Tony the Tiger's face, to students who could correctly answer questions about Kellogs cereal.
Sue McKinley, produce specialist for Capitol City Produce, on the other hand, supplied the students with exotic fruits and vegetables with the purpose of promoting a healthy lifestyle as well as determining which produce items should be incorporated into the Cayman Café food selection.
"We supply all the produce to Southeastern, and we are here today for the vendor fair so that the students can learn about some unique produce items," said McKinley.
After presenting new fruits and vegetables and determining which ones sparked more interest in the students, it was decided that kale, kiwi and other fruits and vegetables should be available in the Cayman Café on a regular basis.
Likewise, Paula Kelly, key account manager for Coca Cola, was able to give students samples of the new product Core Power, a protein beverage that is currently sold in two flavors at the Rec Center. By seeing which flavors appealed to students more, they could make a determination about the next flavors that should be sold in the Rec Center.
"We're sampling our new product, Core Power, which is a protein beverage which can be used as a meal replacement and also as a recovery beverage after workout. It's a brand new product that just came out on the market about three weeks ago," said Kelly. "The Rec Center only supplies the chocolate and the vanilla, and we want them to have all five flavors. We can gauge the interest from the students by being here today when they come up and say 'Oh, that's my favorite, but I can't get it at the Rec Center.'"
Commuter Appreciation Day seemed to instill the desired effect among the commuters who attended.
"I think it's really cool to be able to get some free desserts and to be able to learn some new things about the different places I eat and different things that I eat," said commuter Tessa Hooks, a senior majoring in family and consumer sciences.
Kristopher Green, a commuting senior who is double majoring in industrial technology and occupational safety and health, felt that Commuter Appreciation Day was a learning experience, and would be more likely to dine in the Cayman Café more often in the future.
"I haven't been in here really since I moved off campus," said Green. "I probably came about two weeks before the semester ended just to use my last little commuter plan swipe, but I haven't really been in here frequently. I like what they did with it, and I like how they're trying desserts over there, how they put things on the walls and how they're trying to promote a healthy life. The freshman 15, I think done hit everybody."
Because of the event's success, students may look forward to more Commuter Appreciation Day events in the future.

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