The Pit is a center of campus life. Every day, hundreds of people will eat breakfast, lunch or dinner on the first floor of Wilson Commons. How did it come to be that we get our food in a place with as appetizing a name as for the Pit?
George Morrison, the assistant director of programming for the Student Activities office, said the name the Pit came spontaneously from students shortly after Wilson Commons opened April 4, 1976.
&I guess just looking down from above it just looks like [a pit],& Morrison said.
The university did not give the area an official name.
Morrison said that the cafeteria had been informally referred to as &the snack bar,& and where the tables are located was referred to as the &dining area.&
However, an official name was given to the area in 1991 when PepsiCo donated $250,000 to UR to name it &PepsiCo Plaza.& The money went towards UR facilities and building and grounds renovations and repairs.
In return for the donation, UR agreed to supply additional Pepsi and Frito-Lay products in the snack bar area, as well as hanging a plaque in the eating area recognizing the donation.
&It seems crass, but people who give money to UR want to get some recognition for it,& Director of Student Activities Rob Rouzer said in the October 3, 1991 of the Campus Times. &Colleges and universities rely on … gifts from friends.&
The agreement did not limit UR from selling Coca-Cola products in the Pit.
Class of 1992 graduate Sharon Zoldman made a pronouncement at the time of the dedication that still rings true.
In the same CT she said, &I think it doesn&t matter what they change [the name] to 8212; everyone&s still going to call it the Pit.&
She&s right 8212; whether it is called the snack bar, the eating area or PepsiCo Plaza, students will still call it the Pit.