Dining halls push for new initiatives in 2018-19

Upon returning to the hill, many students have taken notice to the upgrades made to the dining halls on campus. From the smoothie bar and rotating dining station in Slayter, to the variety of meals and flexible food options available in dining halls, the happiness of students and staff is evident.

Given that Denison is a small campus with minimal delivery options, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of eating the same go-to options found in dining halls. Tommy McMaster sits as chair of the dining committee, and commented on what specific changes they focused on making.

“The changes we have been making to dining options have been to try and keep new options rotating through Slayter as well as the other dining locations on campus. To vary the types of dining experience both to-go and sit down on campus, and to increase transparency about food and dining policies,” he said.

Creating new dining options is not as easy as mixing up the dishes made. The dining committee must take into account food sustainability and the special dietary needs of certain students. In addition, more international students this year means the dining committee is looking to include more dishes from all across the globe.

“We have also been able to increase composting to include all food waste, along with improving on, in the past number of years, creating meals and working around dietary restrictions students may have on an individual level,” McMaster said.

The dining staff implemented these changes not just for fun, but in hopes to accomplish certain goals.

“The goals we are hoping to achieve are a commitment to sustainable and local food as well as a varied, and hopefully enjoyable dining experience. In addition to creating an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable asking about food and asking for changes,” McMaster said.

So far, it is evident to see an improvements in the overall content students have with the variety and quality of food on campus. Nalani Wean, a sophomore biology major, has greatly enjoyed the changes she’s experienced thus far.

“I really appreciate all the changes made to the food options on campus, especially the smoothie bar on A-Quad. It’s nice to have a healthy option thats available early before classes,” she said.

As the year progresses, the dining committee plans to stay in tune with the wants and needs of students on campus. That being said, if changes present themselves as necessary, McMaster said that the staff will be happy to look into them.

“With regards to changes it really just depends on what we see as a committee and what the community wants. It seems like there is always something new that people want in dining facilities so I am sure there will be continued changes throughout the year,” he said.

If you haven’t had a chance to sample some of the new options brought to campus, be sure to take time out of your busy schedule to kickstart your day with a smoothie, or enjoy a nice lunch with friends over a Greek bowl, the current option in the rotating Slayter bar.

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