By Zerina Bajramovic
Students walking into Holloway Commons the past two weeks may have had more than just what to eat on their minds. In fact, they may have been wondering: Where are the chairs?
A new stand-up table, located right across from the pizza oven and grill station, replaced eight chairs and two regular tables. Now as many as 20 people can fit around the table, but it has not seen too many diners.
“The concept was built around the idea of the person on the go. A table for someone who just wants to have a cup of coffee and piece of food rather than taking up a four-person space by themselves,” said Deborah Scanlon, area manager of Holloway Commons.
During Wednesday night’s local harvest fest, Scanlon walked around and high-fived those who were standing at the new table to acknowledge their efforts in being some of the first students to try it out.
When the planning for HoCo’s big renovation was taking place, the dining staff visited many different places, and the stand-up tables were one thing that especially stuck with Scanlon. She wanted to bring the trend to students at UNH.
The trend of stand-up tables, even in offices, is becoming increasingly popular, but this may not be the case for students dining at HoCo just yet.
“I’ve only seen the workers stand there. No students. Literally just people in the blue MUB shirts,” said first-year student Julia Grist.
Scanlon is still hopeful.
“A lot more people are using it than (in) the first week. No one wants to be the first person to stand there,” she said.
Scanlon and other staff have been using the table and inviting students to as well. Much of the participation from students has been taking place during the lunch hours, according to Scanlon.
“I think people just think it’s weird that they have to stand,” Grist said.
A sign was even put up on the table, making it clear to students that it is in fact a stand-up table. The sign encourages people to not only stand, but to use a hashtag and share their experiences via Twitter or Instagram.
The table was installed about a month and a half into the semester and Scanlon thinks that it would have had more initial popularity if it had been installed during the time that HoCo’s first round of renovations were complete.
“Some people may be confused or unsure what it’s there for,” said Scanlon.
“We know dinner is kind of a sit-down thing. The primary focus of the stand-up table is breakfast, lunch, a quick snack, or even to make space during the dining events,” she continued.
Junior student Hunter Farrell thinks the table is a great idea, but also admits that she hasn’t seen many people use it.
“It will take time before more people, other than the workers, use it,” said Farrell. She thinks it’s something that people just need to get used to.
“Personally when I eat food, I want to sit after a long day, not stand,” said Farrell. “Though it is a good option to have for those who want to use it.”