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August 23, 2004

University Center asking for feedback from campus community

By Louise Donahue

Since its opening in January 2003, the University Center has reached out to the public as well as the campus community. Now, it’s hoping to hear back.

Everyone filling out a survey about the University Center will be entered in a contest in which three winners will receive lunch-for-two gift certificates to the center. Take survey

The University Center is taking an online survey (see survey, right) of the campus community, asking people about their experiences with the University Center and the range of services it provides. All survey participants will be entered in a contest in which three winners will receive lunch-for-two gift certificates to the center.

“We want to find out what people would like to see,” said manager Janice Clark, who opened restaurants around the country and coordinated large special events in California before coming to UCSC in spring 2003.

The University Center opened in January 2003.

In addition to serving lunch each weekday—with patio dining overlooking the redwoods—the facility hosts meetings and conferences, and offers catering. Services extend beyond the campus to the community, with the center hosting weddings and meetings of community groups.

The “U Center,” as it has become known, has also reached out to the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (Farm & Garden). The Farm is already a source for about a third of the fresh produce the U Center serves, and the U Center and the Farm are working together to serve even more from the Farm.

The U Center and Farm have also become involved together in the Culinary Alliance of Santa Cruz, dedicated to promoting and advancing the local food and wine scene.

That connection is especially appropriate; the U Center’s most popular special event so far was the winemaker dinner with Lynn Sheehan, chef and co-proprietor of Sand Rock Farm bed-and-breakfast.

On September 23, members of the campus community will be given a chance to sample varieties of a new entrant in the area's wine scene, Caviglia Winery. Winemaker Clint Marsh will be on hand to discuss Caviglia wines, and wine flights--a sampling of three wines--with appropriately paired appetizers will be for sale. Six Caviglia wines will be showcased at the 5 to 7:30 p.m. event.

October events will include a dance contest on October 14 with entertainment by the Felonius Blues Revue, and a free wine-and-cheese reception on October 20 for artist Frank Galuszka, who will place a new work to join his other creations gracing the walls of the U Center.

The U Center also has a coffee bar and will soon organize a coffee club, in which those buying a travel mug get a 50-cent discount on coffee. The coffee and pastry bar is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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