Lipscomb students go organic at grand opening of Bennett Campus Center, March 4

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Lipscomb University students don’t have to head over to Whole Foods if they want to eat organic, as of March 4 they will have their own organic salad, wrap and cereal bar available to them almost 14 hours a day.

The newly renovated Bennett Campus Center, will celebrate its grand re-opening on March 4, beginning with a ribbon-cutting attended by Mayor Karl Dean at 9:30 a.m. at the new outdoor amphitheater.

Click here for a complete schedule of the all the day’s events.

Every ingredient in the salads at Arlo's will be organic, from croutons to pepper.
The Campus Center, with $2.3 million in improvements, will boast the new Arlo’s Bison Café, featuring organic salads and wraps, five kinds of organic fruit, eight organic “add-in” for the granite slab ice cream station, four kinds of organic cereals and organic milk, along with a host of other offerings.

“Everything down to the pepper and salt is organic,” Ken Corwin, director of retail operations for Sodexho, said of the Arlo’s salads and wraps.

But if students aren’t in the mood for organic veggies, Arlo’s offers a vast selection of one of the most popular food items on any college campus today – cereal. Sixteen kinds to be exact, four of them organic.

The cereal set-up, which Sodexho officials say they believe is the first full-service “cereal bar” in Nashville, also offers six kinds of milk (whole, 2 percent, skim, chocolate, soy and organic) and 25 mix-ins from almonds and dried cranberries to marshmallows and chocolate chips.

In fact, Arlo’s selection of cereals and organic prepared meals is the most ambitious food offering of its kind in any of the universities Sodexho serves across the nation, said Rick Graham, general manager Lipscomb Dining Services.

The menu, offering veggies from United Natural Foods, Clif Bars, Bear Naked trail mix and Kashi snacks, is a direct result of demands from students who are becoming more health- and environment-conscious every day, said Dean of Students Scott McDowell.

“We’ve been doing customer surveys for years, and they always show a desire for more healthy products,” said Corwin.

“It’s definitely a trend. Students are certainly very interested in organic food, and they are very conscious about nutrition,” said Nancy Hunt, director of the Lipscomb’s dietetics program.

The chairs and tables in Arlo's were made from old bicycles.
“This generation wants their bodies to be healthier. So they are thinking about what they eat. I teach more than 80 students each semester in nutrition class, when I used to teach about 30,” she said. “So to me that says there is much more interest in nutrition. Ten years ago, I never would have thought students would want a coffee shop on campus or pay $1.50 for bottled water.”

And the Bennett Campus Center has that too. Glacier bottled water from Iceland and a Starbucks coffee, which will be offering one free tall coffee and a biscotti to customers at 1-3 p.m. on grand opening day, March 4.

So what else could a student with a high metabolism want? How about ice cream. Eight flavors of Purity premium ice cream, made with higher quality milkfat, and including a brand new flavor – strawberry frozen smoothie, enriched with vitamins and minerals. Arlo’s will also offer no sugar added ice cream and a low-fat peach sorbet.

Arlo’s, named by the students for Lipscomb President Randy Lowry whom some students have taken to calling R. Lo., is just one of the many new services offered to students in the renovated lower level of the Bennett Campus Center.

Expanded postage services, including packaging and a 24-hour self-service Pitney Bowes postage kiosk will be offered in The Connection, a new mail and copy center. A computerized self-service kiosk will allow students to design their own banners and signs for events, have them printed at R.J. Young and delivered to the campus the next day. Copy services, a notary public and passport pictures are new services available to the community as well as students.

The renovated lower level of the Bennett Campus Center also includes a suite of meeting rooms that will be available for community use during the summer, and the offices of all student-related administration and student government.

The community is invited to check out the Bennett Campus Center and the various services available to the community, on March 4.