Lower Debot did not always look as it does this year. Things such as table, booth and television placement were different and yes, there was carpeting.
Last summer some heavy rain showers caused flooding in Lower Debot, and as a result the carpeting had to be removed in order to prevent molding. This is the cause of the state of the seating area near the convenience store. There are still small laminated signs posted in Lower explaining the problem and apologizing for the inconvenience.
Sophomore Elementary Ed. Major Jessica Cox attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point last year and remembered how Lower Debot used to look.
“There used to be a T.V. in that corner,” she said, gesturing toward a nook in the back right corner of the seating area as you look from the front entrance. “It was the only T.V. down here and there were booths on both sides.”
Cox remembered how students used to vie for those booths to get a seat within view of the television. She also remembered the arrangement. The small tables were placed pretty close to the way they are now, she said, but the booths used to run along the wall to the far right side where folding tables now sit.
Last semester, Cox said she brought her boyfriend who attends Concordia University Wisconsin to UWSP for a short visit. She said when she brought him to Lower, she was mildly embarrassed.
“It looks terrible without carpeting,” she said, gazing at the floor. “I thought they would have replaced the carpeting as time went on.”
Emilee Smith, visiting her friends at UWSP and waiting for her friends to meet her at Lower Debot, said that it does make a small statement about campus.
“If I were a prospective student visiting campus for the first time, like I am now, this would definitely give me a little different perspective,” Smith said. She said it would not make or break the decision, but it would leave an impression.
Sophomore transfer student Dustin Ziegelman is new to campus this year and is also a bit disenchanted by the state of Lower.
“I think if it looked a little nicer down here I wouldn’t bring my food back to my room as often as I do,” he said.
Ziegelman also said that the seating in Lower sharply contrasts the nice, new convenience store. “The store is set up nicely and there is nice lighting and flooring,” he said. “And upper looks decent as well, it’s just the seating area in Lower.”
Due to scheduling constraints Dining Services Director Mark Hayes was unavailable for sufficient comments about the way Lower Debot looks currently. In a voicemail, he said that “nothing has been decided about Lower Debot,” but that plans have been made to organize student surveys and focus groups next year.