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The Blue & Gray Press | August 24, 2019

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UMW dining taking steps towards improvment

UMW dining taking steps towards improvment


Similar to last year and its opening year, the University Center and the University Dining Service has received an overwhelming amount of complaints due to lack of options and dining hall hours.

Dining options on campus include the UC dining hall, Qdoba, Jamba Juice & Lil’s Joe’s, Blackstone, Vocelli’s, Simply To-Go, Naturally Woodstock and Eatz on the Street.

The UC had many problems the first year it opened. The fire alarms were easily set off and many students complained of the dining hall closing too early and its lack of options. However, it has begun to make improvements this year.

When asked about problems with dining on campus, sophomore environmental science major Maddie Reid said “I found it inconvenient to my schedule to find time to eat.” For, the dining hall closed at 7p.m. last year whereas this year the UC is open until 8p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For student-athletes that had to juggle practices atop classes, this was an even bigger issue. For example, Allison Griffith, a sophomore majoring in American Studies, who played softball for UMW said, “the hardest part about being an athlete and fitting in meals is the lack of choices that were given at non meal hours.”

Vice President for Student Affairs, Juliette Landphair said, “we were hearing from student- athletes and student organizations and other students that seven was just too early.” She stated that administration understood that all students have very different schedules and that is why the UC hours have been extended to 8 p.m.

However, keeping the UC open longer meant cutting hours from other dining locations. Budgeting for the operational costs of staying open later, the UMW administration closed Naturally Woodstock during lunch hours. This was also done to provide late night options, especially when there are evening events. Naturally Woodstock is now open from 7p.m. to 1a.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7p.m. to 11p.m. Sunday through Wednesday. Complaints from students with dietary issues also surfaced this year.

Isabel Faust, a sophomore who is both vegan and gluten free, said, “I have options but they don’t overwhelm me.” She stated that she mostly eats at the salad bar. However, she can eat at the simple servings station, but it quickly runs out of food and provides smaller servings.

Similarly, Lizzy Wainer, a sophomore sociology major, who is both vegetarian and lactose free complained about Simple Servings. She added that it is a very limited station in its variety of vegetables. However, she could get the vegetables at another station.

Landphair said that there are tours students can go on which show students with food restrictions the resources that are available to them. The UC also has educational posters about the dining hall stations.