Despite any complaints that students may have about ARAMARK and Dining Services, they have always shown that they are willing to listen to suggestions and take every request seriously. As such, they are always looking for ways to improve dining services on the campus.The changes that ARAMARK and Dining Services announced for the coming school year continue this trend, fixing problems that students have identified and trying to make the dining environment better. The changes to the Club plans that were introduced this year are the highlights of these modifications, and we feel that they may alleviate some of the the glitches that came with the new program. The first, and we feel most important change, is the return of All-You-Care-to-Eat lunches to Danforth Dining Hall. While Douglass Dining Center is a good dining location, it is not a good place for the All-You-Care-to-Eat program. Additionally, many upperclassmen felt shut out of it this year. The ability to freely walk through the hall again will be welcomed by many students. Danforth has long been associated with the All-You-Care-to-Eat program, and it is set up in a way that makes this service easier to provide.We are also encouraged by the planned addition of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options in Danforth. Some students have always been marginalized by the dining plan, and making this service available on a plan used largely by freshmen will allow them to start off their experience with campus dining in a way that meets their needs. With the growing number of vegetarians and vegans on campus, students shouldn’t have to wait any longer for these choices.The welcome return of Douglass to its old format will be helped by allowing the use of club plans. This arrangement will create a new dining center where upperclassmen and freshmen will feel free to interact and join each other for their meals. Additionally, adding an la carte option for those using Club meals will help reduce wasted food and dollars, and it will be much more convenient for those who are trying to eat quickly and healthily. Increasing the declining balance on Club plans will also be much more convenient for students that have them. Particularly among freshmen, it was not unusual to see people at the end of last semester who were out of declining well before the end of the semester, yet ended up with extra Club meals. The additional flexibility added to Club meals at the end of last semester was helpful, but this change will be especially convenient. New additions to the menu are not as important as the other plans, but we still look forward to new options next year. The sushi program has been a great addition to dining on the River Campus. It is heartening to see a long line of enthusiastic students waiting for on-campus food, and students seem to all enjoy the product. This bodes well for future menu changes, though we do hope that plans are underway for shortening the lines that have come from the feature’s success.We are not certain, however, what the need is for a new convenience store in Wilson Commons, as the two areas we have now – the Corner Store and the Common Market – fill two very different and very complementary roles. We have advocated expansion of the Corner Store, but this does not seem like something that a relocation to Wilson Commons would address without making another part of the Commons unusable. Where an expanded convenience store would be welcome, a second, smaller one might end up being redundant.On the whole, the changes proposed for the 2004-2005 school year are encouraging. We are optimistic concerning the prospects for future improvements and services. It is certainly time that ARAMARK and Dining Services have stepped up to address the various concerns that the student body has long expressed about the quality and flexibility of the services it provides. It seems as though they truly want to improve, for the benefit of the students.

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.

Dinner for Peace was an unconventional way of protesting for Palestine

The dinner showcased aspects of Palestinian culture. It was a unique way of protesting against the genocide, against the Israeli occupation, against the university’s involvement with the genocide.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.