Dining locations get mixed reviews

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

With the union and its major dining hub the Market closed this year, students are changing the way they eat on campus.

New dining locations have been up and running for a month and while reviews are mixed, food service director Dave Menzel said he’s pleased with how the changes are going.

“It’s exceeded my expectations by far,” he said.

Some of the changes have included the addition of dining locations in DePuy Military Hall, NFA and Yeager Hall. More students have been hitting existing cafeterias Medary and Larson Commons.

The relocation of the Market’s Java City coffee shop to a conference room in NFA has garnered favorable comments.

Freshmen Mallory Bartel, an apparel merchandizing student, and Sara Madison, general studies, have taken to meeting weekly at Java City, and while they can’t compare it to last year’s coffee shop, they like the atmosphere of this year’s.

“I think it’s a good environment and it’s got good stuff to drink,” Bartel said.

Madison agreed. “Its just fun to be where it’s quieter.”

Junior Megan Aklan, an early childhood education student who has worked part time at Java City since last year, said she thinks the changes have gone well.

“It’s not quite as convenient as the union – just trying to adjust to not having everything right there,” she said. “But I think people are enjoying it here.”

While Java City might be a new favorite, there has been a mixed response to the DePuy dining location.

Hannah Bowman, a sophomore in human development and family studies, said she doesn’t like eating in the military hall.

“It reminds us of a mess hall,” she said. “It’s just not good.”

Sophomore psychology major Lindsay Doyle agreed. “The food isn’t necessarily bad. It just doesn’t remind me of a cafeteria. It’s the setting,” she said.

However, Lisa Marotz, operations manager who focuses her work on DePuy, said she’s heard a lot of positive comments from students about dining in the military hall.

“People like the fact that it’s all-you-care-to-eat but you get served. (It has) the union flair, but not quite,” she said.

One DePuy complaint that senior human development major Jason Woehl has heard from students is the hall’s limited hours of service.

“I’ve heard complaints as far as the times – it’s only open 10:30 to 3,” he said.

This small window of time forces more students to eat at Medary and Larson Commons, which are somewhat overcrowded, Menzel said.

In a Sept. 10 meeting of the University Food Service Advisory Committee, Menzel said he met with assistant dean of Student Affairs Doug Wermedal, other administrators, and student representatives such as Woehl. One of the issues discussed was the distribution of students.

In 2003, Medary Commons served approximately 950 students daily, but this year it serves nearly 1,450 daily.

“At times there’s so many people in there – where do they go sit?” Menzel said.

He added that the committee is looking into ways to remedy the problem.

The overcrowding in Medary is also visible in Larson, some students said.

Bowman and Doyle live in Bailey and don’t like to make the trek to Larson, but when they do, Doyle said, “It’s too crowded. I miss Jacks’ Place (in the union) but in Larson it’s so crowded it’s not worth it to go across campus.”

After the kinks are worked out for this year’s dining service locations, the re-opening of the union will mean more adjustments.

“Now that we’ve exhausted our current facilities, we have to figure out our new facilities, what’s going to go in the new student union,” Menzel said.

He said students are welcome to attend meetings of the University Food Service Advisory Committee. The next meeting is Oct. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. Those interested in attending should call ahead to Jessica Morgan at 688-4080.

#1.885949:3314335688.jpg:depuy.jpg:DePuy Military Hall is one of the locations students can get hot meals this year.: