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Friday, August 12, 2022
<p>Brian David Schwartz, a UF telecommunications sophomore, chows down on Krishna lunch on the steps of Griffin-Floyd Hall on Sept. 3. Students are banned from eating on the stairs to prepare for extra seating renovations. “Having Krishna lunch is a very communal experience,” Schwartz said, “us all eating the same food to the beat of a drum.”</p>

Brian David Schwartz, a UF telecommunications sophomore, chows down on Krishna lunch on the steps of Griffin-Floyd Hall on Sept. 3. Students are banned from eating on the stairs to prepare for extra seating renovations. “Having Krishna lunch is a very communal experience,” Schwartz said, “us all eating the same food to the beat of a drum.”

Near the steps of Griffin-Floyd Hall, there’s a sign.

"Please do not eat Krishna Lunch on the steps nor inside Griffin Floyd Hall. Thank you very much," it reads.

Maria Dominicis, a UF nursing senior, said she was annoyed when she first saw it.

When it rains, she prefers sitting on the steps instead of the muddy grass.

"I just think it’s stupid," the 20-year-old said. "There’s such limited seating in the plaza."

Limited seating on the Plaza of the Americas will be taken care of in an upcoming plaza renovation, UF spokesman Steve Orlando wrote in an email.

The renovation — headed by the UF Foundation, the fundraising arm of UF that private donations go through — will cost from $1.65 million to $2.1 million, and will bring a student-organization service area, a central presentation platform, additional bench seating, tables and improved Wi-Fi, Orlando said.

The Foundation has partnered with Krishna House to raise funds for the project, said the chaplain and manager of Krishna House, Carl Woodham.

"We have such a long-standing relationship with the university," he said.

The renovation will also bring a designated area for Krishna Lunch to be served, Woodham said.

The Foundation is also working with UF Libraries to seek support for a combined Plaza of the Americas and Library West entrance renovation, Orlando said.

The renovation doesn’t have a start or end date yet, but the Foundation is working on the official timeline, Orlando said.

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The planning was finalized about a year and a half ago, and small modifications have been added since then.

Orlando said this renovation will be beneficial for students and make the plaza more functional and beautiful.

It will ensure people are sitting in the grass instead of the dirt.

Contact Alexandra Fernandez at afernandez@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @alexmfern

Brian David Schwartz, a UF telecommunications sophomore, chows down on Krishna lunch on the steps of Griffin-Floyd Hall on Sept. 3. Students are banned from eating on the stairs to prepare for extra seating renovations. “Having Krishna lunch is a very communal experience,” Schwartz said, “us all eating the same food to the beat of a drum.”

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