Changes in Dining Services

by Caroline Brandon
assistant opinions editor

Our nutritional wish has been granted: A new food service company will soon take over the Caf’. Now we can only hope that the change proves to be a positive one. Our administrators have worked diligently the past year to figure out a plan that is more accommodating to student wants and needs.

The changes began with the introduction of dining dollars to our student meal plan and the addition of hot options at both the Kava House and Reuben’s. I find these changes definitely positive.

Furthermore, having a meal plan option available after 7:30 p.m. substantially widens our time frame to eat dinner. Especially as the longer days set in, I often am not ready to sit down for dinner until dusk approaches. By this time of day, the Caf’ and Kava House are both nearing their closing times. This change also affords athletes more options in dining as practices often run until late in the evening, after some of the dining centers close. Dining dollars have also made a significant difference in my own satisfaction with our campus-wide meal plan. I can purchase anything on the Kava House menu and anything except alcohol on the Reuben’s menu without needing cash.

The changes are just beginning, though. We should all prepare ourselves for further changes that will affect our dining experience on campus. I think we all would agree a less expensive meal plan would be ideal, but if it means the quality of our food declines, is it worth it? After all, we are going to have to make sacrifices in order to achieve the goal of less expensive meal. Would you be willing to pay $10 per meal if it meant that we would have better food than what we have now? We must consider these questions.

As a student body, we are asking for a significant improvement without considering the costs of our wants. For example, I often hear people ask why Reuben’s does not accept meal plan option orders over the phone. The answer lies in the logistics; the staff at Reuben’s can barely keep up with the in-house orders, let alone try to manage numerous call-in orders.

Don’t get me wrong, I want our dining services to improve. I just think we are being a little unrealistic about our expectations. For an improvement in our food, I think the only way that will actually happen is if our mean plan cost increases.