Dishing changes at dining services
Students file into McMahon Dining in this August 27 photo. Dining Services Director Dennis Peirce said the department has been hard at work responding to student concerns and needs. ALEX SFARRAZZA/The Daily Campus
As the fall semester begins, dining services at UConn Storrs will roll out thousands of sustainably prepared meals to members of the UConn community.
UCuisine, the guide to dining and cuisine at UConn, relayed the Department of Dining Services' mission statement: aiming "to nourish the university community by providing quality, diverse and nutritious foods with consideration for our environment."
No small feat, considering the one hundred and eighty thousand meals prepared and served every week by staff.
Dennis Pierce, the director of Dining Services at UConn, says dining services this year is "big on sustainability" in response to increasingly rigorous state guidelines regarding the sustainability of buildings, appliances, and design, the quality of the dining facilities is kept in check and is frequently inspected.
There are eight main dining halls: Whitney, Buckley, South, McMahon, Putnam, Northwest, North, and Gelfenbein. The dining halls are all open for about eleven hours of the weekday, and some feature later hours than the others for those students who missed dinner or simply wish to grab a snack.
"New this semester" Pierce said, is "sushi on the menu" in McMahon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, aimed at satisfying one more niche of the population.
Barbecue chicken, a cult favorite, is also coming back to South after a public outcry following its discontinuation.
Pierce also clarified that the dining services have "made a staff change [and] menus were reviewed and adjusted" for the new semester. In response to his number one complaint - the frustration caused by long lines - Pierce tells students: "Don't eat at traditional times and the lines will not be a problem."
Pierce also noted that as students adjust to their schedules and begin to eat separately, there will not be as much problematic traffic.
First Semester freshmen Briana Dicicco and Carissa Raver commented on the variety of food offered at UConn.
"My mom isn't really a gourmet chef, and she usually sticks to pasta every night, but here I can get whatever I want," Dicicco said.
"There are a lot of unique foods to try," Raver said while enjoying her breakfast. "I feel like I'm broadening my horizons."
There are also accommodations for Nosh Kosher and Halal dining located in the Gelfenbein dining hall, as well as numerous allergen-free options, ensuring that all members of the community are able to take full advantage of the dining experience offered at UConn.
With eight main dining halls pumping out tasty meals and offering healthy options, and plenty of cafÃ©s and fast-food restaurants scattered throughout campus, there's no shortage of options for a hungry Husky.
"Students are emotional eaters; they need comfort food, go-to food," says Mr. Pierce, "Your schedules are so busy, the last thing you should have to worry about is finding food you like."
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