SUNY Plattsburgh participated in the Street Food Festi-Ful Sept. 24. This was advertised as the “largest street food festival” in the country because it was held at 300 college campuses simultaneously all around the United States.
The event offered a switch up from the normal dining scene at Clinton Dining Hall. Food options included sushi, tacos, quesadillas, sliders, michigans, s’mores, chocolate and caramel-covered apples and more. Students also had an opportunity to participate in prize giveaways.
Production Supervisor Kim Skolnick along with Marketing Director Amy Rascoe crafted the menu for students to delight upon. Before students arrived, Rascoe looked over all the stations to make sure everything was as advertised, according to Skolnick. Along with staff, the operations office helped coordinate the event. Skolnick described the process leading up to it as “hectic,” but also said it took a “big team effort.”
The Clinton Dining Hall staff depend on each other to get through the everyday stressors of the job, so for Festi-Ful that was no different. A visibly emotional Skolnick, whose children are all grown up and out of the nest living their lives on their own, described fellow staff members as not just co-workers but family.
President Alexander Enyedi and the school mascot Burghy were in attendance to greet students as they walked into the dining hall that was littered with celebratory balloons. Enyedi took to his Instagram, @plattsprez, to post a picture of Burghy and himself with the caption “[It was] great to see so many Cardinals sampling today’s incredible food offerings.”
However, some students stopped short of describing the options as “incredible.” Attendees shared mixed opinions about the event.
The backed-up line at the station serving tacos and quesadillas hindered junior Brendan O’Connor’s ability to sample the Mexican food. He said he would have tried the tacos, but he was in a rush to get to class. Even though he described the event as just “OK” he’d like to see the event held again.
“It breaks up the average stuff,” O’Connor said.
Sophomore Jacqueline Svantner walked into Clinton Dining Hall that sunny Thursday afternoon unknowing she was going to be greeted by the face of the college, Burghy. It was a welcomed surprise for Svantner, who said the event was “pretty cool.” She enjoyed the chicken kabobs, which she put into her salad and also took a likening to the chocolate-coated apples. She emphasized that the college should put on an event like this every month to give students something to look forward to.
Staff member Tim Liberty not only prepared the meals for the students, but also took time to feast upon the food himself. He spoke highly of the michigans, which is the North Country’s regional favorite, according to a news article published in the lead-up to the event.
Junior Jared Chadwick was not impressed with the event.
“In my honest opinion, I didn’t like the food,” Chadwick said. “Every time I go down there the food is somewhat cold, and for the event, it was no different.”
He approved the taste of the chicken kabobs, but Chadwick complained that the portions staff gave him were small. He could tell there was an effort put in, but to him “it didn’t seem like much.”
Freshman Ian Sever enjoyed attending Festi-Ful. He had the patience to stand in line for 15 to 20 minutes to sample the tacos. Long lines affected his ability to try the other options that staff picked for students.
“It was cool how everything was switched up,” Sever said. “They brought in the mascot, which I thought was funny.”
The next event, Oktoberfest will be held at Clinton Dining Hall near the end of October. Skolnick said, “it will be a big one, which is nice to see.”
It will be the second of the usual five major dining events the college hosts a year.