Market Square tuned in to change


The sound of dining at Market Square is a bit more musical these days.

Since the first week of the fall semester, music has been playing in Market Square to improve students' experience dining there, said Michael Russel, executive director of student affairs administration.

He said the process of implementing a permanent sound system began in late July, and was a joint effort by Sodexo, Housing and Residence Life and Student Affairs.

Student Affairs arranged for the contractor, while Housing and Residence Life paid for the changes, including the addition of speakers, a rack system for amplification, a Sirius receiver and an internet connection for the radio receiver, Russel said.

He said adding music to Market Square has brought new life to the experience, for both students and employees.

The staff particularly likes listening to the music when setting up and cleaning up, Russel said.

As for students, Ellen Keim, a first-year business major, said she also enjoys the music, especially if she is eating by herself.

But, she said she felt “it [the music] doesn't need to be on during busy times because there’s already a lot of noise.”

She also said it seemed like certain songs are played too often, a feeling echoed by Miles Davison, a senior sociology major.

Anthony Micheli, a first-year finance major, said he dislikes the music playing altogether.

The music is too loud and it takes away from the experience of sitting down, having a meal and starting a conversation, he said. In fact, the noise level makes conversing difficult in general.

Russel said the volume of the music is still under experimentation, but that “even with the music playing it doesn’t seem like it makes Market Square that much louder.”

Currently, the volume level is turned up or down based on customer feedback, he said.

Ultimately, Russel said the music in Market Square is played each day “just to improve the student experience.”