Under the newly-appointed director of campus dining services and auxiliary operations Cameron Schauf, several major changes are being made in the dining halls across campus to ensure that students, faculty and staff will be satisfied. The changes include the use of credit cards in any of the dining areas, meal choices being expanded to appeal to a variety of diets and students being encouraged to participate even more in feedback.The latest change is that credit cards can be used as payment along with flex, declining, club meals and cash. Guest Service Manager David Feist enacted this change.”This addition was made based on national research that discovered a trend in credit card use for all food services, including places like McDonald’s and Burger King,” Feist said. “It’s also another way to add convenience to the dining experience on campus for students, faculty, staff and guests of the University of Rochester.”The implementation of credit card machines came just before Meliora Weekend. For the remainder of the year, Feist will be measuring the results of this new service. Initial reaction from students is mixed. “Good luck holding your tray and signing at the same time,” freshman Steve Goff said.Fellow freshman Joey Mailman agrees. “Why would I want to do that?” Mailman said. “Then I would need to sign for it and everything.”However, sophomore Steve Privitera felt the credit card option was an improvement. “It’s great because it’s a greater convenience for [visitors],” he said. He is also involved in the new program “Just 4U” that comes in response to a survey students filled out last year about what they were looking for in dining services. It categorizes food options and visually alerts students with symbols as to what type of style they are looking for. The categories include Vegan, Vegetarian, Cal Smart, Low Fat and Carb Counter.Feist leads a student committee that meets once a month with dining services to discuss any desired changes that the student body desires. Students wishing to get involved in this should contact him. “We are continuously striving for 100 percent satisfaction,” Feist said. “There are a lot of great meal changes being made as well,” Schauf said. “I am working with students, faculty, staff and the entire community as well as with ARAMARK to build a dining program people are happy with.”Some of the biggest changes were made over the summer. There is now an upscale TexMex “Tortilla Fresca” in Douglass Dining Center where quesadillas, burritos and fajitas are prepared fresh to order. In Wilson Commons, there is a Miso noodle station where noodle bowls are prepared with a choice of proteins, vegetables and sauces. The Blimpie station there has also been expanded. As for more recent modifications, most were exhibited at the “grand opening” of Danforth Dining Hall last week.”We are doing a lot for the vegans and vegetarians,” Schauf said. “There are now more legumes and grains as well as more vegetarian options.” These can be found in the produce market at Danforth where the salad bar and stir-fry area are located.”We are still in the process of installing the program, so it is not all there yet,” Schauf said. “If anyone has any suggestions, we are always listening to students.”Comment boxes can be found at each of the dining areas and the comment cards are read daily. However, the quickest way to get a response on an issue is to ask to speak to a manager.”Often, if a student cannot find a food that they want, we have it in the back,” Schauf said. Schauf can also be contacted with any ideas for changes. Students have complained to him about the lack of variety in the Wilson Commons breakfast. In response, ARAMARK has added more types of cereal and juices which seem popular.Meanwhile, a “Dining Styles Survey” will be available online within the next few days. “Last year’s survey gave us some great feedback that has resulted in the changes made on campus this year,” Feist said. “We look forward to a high participation this year.”Students can look forward to the Danforth “Chef’s Challenge” in November in which the students will judge each of the chefs’ masterpieces. Students can find more information about other upcoming events on the calendar outside the dining area.”A lot of students are very happy with the food here, but there is a lot that could be happier,” Schauf said. “Our goal is to open the lines of communication.” Paret can be reached ateparet@campustimes.org.



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