At the risk of simply weighing in on what is quite literally a matter of taste, the Editorial Board is encouraged by the planned changes in dining venues for the upcoming academic year.
Some will mourn the loss of dining mainstays Pura Vida, Blimpie, and Panda Express. But Dining Services proposed (and some already-installed!) replacements look to be marked improvements on several fronts, some of which are mentioned in an April 23 report in the Campus Times.
Peet’s Coffee, which has opened in Wegmans Hall, will offer much of what was available at Pura Vida. The real story is the as-yet-unnamed station that’ll set up shop in Pura Vida’s spot in Goergen Hall. According to Dining Services, this new space will be a spot for healthy, customizable salads and grain bowls with a Chipotle-style ordering model. As for Panda Express and Blimpie, these national brands will be replaced by homegrown stations that will serve similar food in addition to new options. The difference is that these new dining options will function without the menu restrictions or extra costs associated with national chains. Most importantly, the new sub shop will significantly increase the use of local ingredients in its sandwiches.
Even if some aren’t pleased with the changes on a taste-basis, we see these changes as a positive development. If it shows anything, it’s that Dining Services is taking student input seriously, translating feedback into action.
This is positive step towards a healthier, more sustainable dining system for UR students.
There are still issues to discuss in regards to Dining Services. In the future, for example, we hope to one day see Dining Services end its relationship with Aramark, a company that retains deep ties to the private prison industry.