In the on-going effort to improve the quality of dining on campus, Dining Services has made a number of changes over the summer to many facets of the dining plan. From the establishment of Pura Vida and Starbucks, to modifications regarding what constitutes a club at the Pit, these changes can be seen across the River Campus.

“The whole process of making changes is seeing what happens,” Director of Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf said.

Wilson Commons is the site where many differences can be seen; the most notable is the transformation of the former Hive to Starbucks and the Common Ground to The Hive. Open at 7:30 a.m., Starbucks is meant to accommodate early risers.

Also in Wilson Commons is the Pit, which has become a crowded place, especially during lunchtime. Students are finding that changes have been made in the types and portions of options that make up a club meal.

“We looked at cost, and some items grew in cost and popularity to the point of financial problems,” Schauf said. “We are trying to look at portion sizes too.”

A club meal is still made up of an entre, side and drink. However, more subtle changes are apparent. For example, yogurts can now be clubbed only in smaller sizes, and bottled juice is no longer an option to club.

Though the Mel Express no longer exists, the Vegan Zone at Douglass Dining Center will serve the same types of vegan entrees that were available.

Although students have voiced concern about long lines that accumulate during popular mealtimes, Schauf is confident that they will die down when people figure out their set schedules and the newly hired employees and those returning from summer vacation have a chance to settle in. A third register was added at both the Pit and Douglass to speed up lines.

On the other side of campus, students visiting the BME building were happy to find the new, convenient Pura Vida cart complete with hot and cold coffees, grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, as well as other convenient snacks.

Schauf also encourages students to frequent Danforth Dining Hall. Danforth serves food all day, starting at 7:30 a.m. Students can choose from a variety of options under a single club meal.

While the image of a cafeteria might be off-putting, Danforth has a balanced and healthy selection. Over the summer, Christina Hoh, a nutritionist, was hired to evaluate the nutritional content and balance of the food in the dining hall.

Schauf likened the dining hall to a personal kitchen.

“You can build your own meal with no restrictions,” Schauf said. “For example, you can have a salad and three slices of pizza under one club, which you can’t do anywhere else.”

Paret is a member of the class of 2008.



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