The University of Rochester has offered me a wonderful place for education and living. I enjoy my classes and continue to further my education. Living on campus is not without its downsides, however. Typically, my day has many points where I feel the desire for a decent meal, but I am left unfulfilled. The dining halls at Douglass and Danforth never live up to their claims of serving nutritious and delicious meals.
Danforth seems to be the worse of the two, in my opinion, yet often we are forced to eat there out of desperation. When eating at Danforth, I often struggle to find something that looks appetizing to me. Even if I do find something good, it is often after a long wait that I can finally have my small portion of food, and it usually leaves me wanting more anyway. Danforth puts forth something for everyone, and for that I give them credit. They always have a vegetarian option as well as something gluten free. These options are needed and are great for anyone who requires them, but in the end one can rarely eat a full meal at Danforth and feel content with their choices. Douglass Dining Hall is usually looked upon as an improvement over Danforth, offering meals that are consistently average. I typically find myself going to Douglass for dinner, not excited to eat but glad to know that I will be getting something edible. That said, the meals taste a bit too much like they were made in a factory rather than a kitchen.
Thankfully, the alternatives to these on-campus dining halls are numerous and growing. The Pit offers dining that is above our average dining hall meal, but much of the food is overpriced. The various coffee shops around campus always have great snacks and drinks, but are once again overpriced for what you receive. Both of these options are great for students who have invested in a large declining balance, but is not ideal for those who have taken the route of unlimited dining hall meals. The Grab-and-Go lunches are one shining light for many people in this situation. I find that these lunches are great, portable, and a good alternative lunch for many students. Unfortunately, this service has limited hours of operation and may be unavailable for some students. In addition, the loss of blackened chicken has somewhat dulled the selection of sandwiches.
The current state of dining is deficient, but I am excited about the next few years with the new expansion that is occurring. Currently, there is an expansion planned for Douglass Dining Hall. This expansion has potential to change this eating center into a better experience and lead to better food. In addition to Douglass’ expansion, there are plans for a smoothie bar that will offer the ability for many to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets. These improvements make me optimistic about dining on campus in the future. The major improvement that will occur next year is the construction of the college town center. When complete, this complex will host a variety of food venues and other shops. With this addition, we can hope for more accessible dining options than we currently have and a huge improvement to the diversity of foods on campus. From my first two semesters on campus, I can say that my appetite for good food has so far been disappointed, but I will say that I am cautiously optimistic that the future of food at UR looks better than ever before.
Schum is a member of
the class of 2017.