University Center - Is it really that serious?
As like everyone else I can understand both sides, however being both staff and student, I don't think students really want to go over to their professor during lunch and hold an indepth conversation.
If the feeling is that there needs to be some kind of separation then have a shorter wall/separation where faculty/staff can still enjoy their lunch but still not give the feeling like "we don't want to have anything to do with you while we are eating!".
The University Club always seemed to make many of us feel like belonging to the University Club was being a part of an exclusive club. If you couldn't afford it or didn't have someone who was a "member" to bring you in as a guest then you couldn't come in and eat. By putting up a large wall, your doing the same thing - aren't you? The only difference is your not asking for fac/staff to pay a membership fee to eat there.
Since we are getting a new and better location, I don't see why we all can't eat in the same location. However, if you want to be able to satisfy those who want to be separated, then put up a short wall/separation. You can always put up a really nice sign that says "Faculty/Staff Dining Lounge" - this way students are aware that the faculty/staff sit there. If you are approached during lunch, you can always politely tell the student you would be happy to discuss their concerns during your office hours. However, I don't think you will have to.
I think by erecting an entire wall sends a message that I don't want to know you while I'm eating. Seriously, it's just lunch and aren't we suppose to show the students that we are all part of this great community? How are we doing that if we can't even share a space to eat? Just my opinion.