The Dining Advisory Board met for the fourth time this semester on Thurs., November 6, to discuss upcoming events and improvements regarding the dining establishments on campus. At these meetings, supervisors from each dining branch collaborate with representatives from the Residence Hall Association (RHA) in order to receive insight on the student perspective of campus dining.

Much of the discussion during the meeting was related to improvements and additions to campus menus. Lawrence Dining Hall is now offering more variety at more food stations for those students who choose to stay on-campus during the weekends. The new hot chocolate machine is proving to be an absolute success, as are the new selections for make-them-yourself waffles.

Ram’s Head Food Court will be placing its menu on the Dining Services web page – http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSE/WestChester – and Larry’s Market has hired a student employee to help keep the meal-exchange program shelves stocked throughout the lunch hours. Larry’s is also looking to improve its organic section and would appreciate any input regarding organic products.

New proposals and renovations were also discussed at the meeting. Lawrence Dining Hall brought up the idea of focusing the first Performances station on international foods next semester, as well as specifying pans to be used for vegetarian dishes.

Around Thanksgiving Break, Ram’s Head will be welcoming back Baker Bob, the custom-cookie designer who last visited West Chester University on Halloween. Einstein’s Bagels, featuring its Autumn Blend coffee and pumpkin bagel this season, is currently entertaining the idea of adding another coffee machine in addition to the three now available.

The Diner will soon be experiencing major transformations. The ordering system will be changing from the two-register, pen and paper method to a kiosk-style system. The notepad method will be used solely as backup. Students will order their food personally at one of the two electronic stations, then advance to pay at the register while their order begins to be prepared. Also, the hand-held menus will be replaced by large board-menus placed above the ordering station, featuring new additions like chili, along with separate sides of bacon and sausage.

As mentioned previously, the Dining Advisory Board focuses heavily on student opinion and involvement. At the previous meeting, surveys were handed out to student representatives regarding certain dining situations. The first is termed “China Amnesty.” The new bowls, plates, and silverware that were bought for Lawrence this school year are rapidly disappearing, making a huge financial loss. Starting after Thanksgiving Break, there will be boxes placed in each of the residence halls to allow for anonymous returning of the dishes and silverware. The board strongly encourages students to urge anyone they know who may have taken pieces of china to return them during this non-punishable time period.

Secondly, a poll was done through hall council meetings and general surveys regarding whether the soft-serve machine should continue to serve ice cream or frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt is the healthier option, but the majority of survey results indicated students would prefer to have soft-serve ice cream.

The Diner is looking for feedback regarding the newly re-introduced Blue Plate Specials, and is also brainstorming ideas for additional specials.

If you have something you would like to comment on regarding any dining location on campus, positive or negative, regarding food products, service, or ideas, the Dining Advisory invites you to its board meetings or talk to a location supervisor. The Dining Advisory Board will meet next on November 20, at 3:15 p.m. in the Traditions section of Lawrence Dining Hall. If you are unable to make the meeting, please relate any comments to your hall’s RHA Hall Council members.

**Note to Students: Saturday, November 15 will be a University Preview Day. During this time Lawrence Dining Hall may be experiencing a heavier traffic flow. To accommodate this, the Diner and Starbucks will be open earlier, and Einstein’s Bagels will open as additional dining options.**

Tara Tanzos is a second-year year student majoring in secondary English education. She can be reached at TT649875@wcupa.edu

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