UR dining —-— what is there to say? The dining program at UR definitely had many ups and downs over the past years. In 2010, Danforth Dining Center went through major renovations, completely re-imaging and redesigning its outdated interior. The past year, students have also seen major changes to the Meliora Restaurant. In the past, The Mel was a sit down restaurant where students would order their food and be served by waiters and waitresses. We no longer have the beloved sit down restaurant, but instead Mel Express, where students can order Mel Classics like the Mel Burger at a take out window, and take their food to go-instead of being waited upon.
I am disappointed about the recent changes to the dining program at the University. First off, not having The Mel restaurant has left many frustrated. The Mel was the one place on campus where students could go and have a somewhat more of a sophisticated dining experience instead of the typical college-dining hall like Danforth or Douglass. The Mel also rotated their menu, featuring daily specials such as ravioli and more options for vegetarians instead of just the Veggie Burger. The Mel was a great place to go when you wanted to take some time to sit down with your friends and have an enjoyable meal with delicious food. Yes, the service at The Mel was slow, but that is a given at any legitimate restaurant. People who were eating at The Mel were going to the restaurant to have an enjoyable and leisurely meal, not a quick bite.
Now all we are left with is a bleak menu with just five items — only one if you are a vegetarian — and a room that is sad reminder of what was once The Mel restaurant.
Another way the UR dining program has continued to disappoint the masses is the very limited dining options on the weekend. Having only Danforth open for brunch and dinner and the Pit open on the weekends as food options is a huge inconvenience and disservice to students. Why not keep the newly renovated Mel Express open? Even that would be a marked improvement. Students constantly desire any sort of variety, and it is a shame that students are stuck with the same two options every weekend. I also find it ridiculous that we have a student body of almost 5,000 students, but we have one dining hall open on the weekend. One time, I waited 30 minutes for food in Danforth on a Saturday. No one should be forced to wait half an hour for a meager plate of buffet style food.
Here’s what the dining program needs to do: First, expand dining options on the weekend. There should be at least one other dining option for students, whether that be opening Douglass or having the Mel Express available. Students want to have different food on the weekend, not just the typical Danforth brunch or Pit meal. Another change that should be made to the dining program is reopening the old Mel Restaurant. I understand that there were issues with the old Mel, especially with service. But if we can find ways to fix this problem, then I think we all could agree that the Mel should definitely reopen. Dining services has so much potential to succeed, and I hope it can rise to the challenge.
Teitelman is a member of
the class of 2016.