Updated: Oct 22, 2021
The SU Dining program has planned to further diversify the food options availiable for students at commons and renovate the rooms inside the dining halls .
Owen Rosten, the school's dining director, discussed diverse food options for students and new vegetarian and vegan options for the SU dining hall.
Students have received replacement tables, higher seating options and new charging stations in Dorchester’s and Somerset’s dining halls.
“We noticed students want to be more on their own and have some private time," Rosten said.
Dining services noticed there has been an increase in evening classes at Conway hall, which has caused the hours at the satellite cafe to stay open later than before.
Dining services has made sure a variety of dining options are available to all SU students. Owen said dining services did not cut back on food variety, and took steps to make sure commons stays open without decreasing meal options to students with dietary restrictions.
To-go option was introduced in the fall of 2020, and is still continuing. Every student has the option to purchase an eco-friendly to-go container for $5. Students can return it back to be cleaned and receive a new container once they are done.
All food is made in house and labeled to ensure food safety, especially for those with diet restrictions. There is a QR code on the signs throughout the dining hall. It takes students to a website where they can see the menu for the day, look through recipes and use a filter to look for certain foods.
There is a full time dietician at SU for all students to use. SU Dietician Terry Passano has been a part of the SU community for 5 years .
Passano encourages students to stop by her office to discuss any kind of dietary restrictions for students.
“Students can talk to me if they have nutrition problems or need to find food to suit their needs.”
There is always tofu availible at the Wok station for any vegan students. Soy sauce is not incorporated in the meals, but is available as an accoutrement for any dish nearby the Wok Station at commons.
In the bistro section, there is a refrigerator with gluten free breads for students who have gluten intolerances. There is also gluten free butter and a separate toaster used for gluten free items availible for students. At the plato station, vegan butter is used on veggies as a substitute for normal butter.
SU’s dining department is self operated so the dining staff can make changes whenever necessary.
During the semester, students' needs are seen and then the planning and renovations take place between semesters to further accommodate students. For any constructive criticism on the dining options, text 55 to 55744 with your feedback.
By JULIE MACE
Photo courtesy of Chonnam Tribune