With the beginning of a new school year, Union has finally decided to implement a wider and better variety of food options. Given the entire Instagram page dedicated to unsightly objects found in West food, the update certainly was a necessity.
While I am still experimenting and learning the ropes of the new dining system, I am happy with many of the changes I have seen so far. For example, Upper Class Dining Hall now has an option to cook your own stir-fry, which gives students the opportunity to choose which ingredients they would like, how they would like them cooked and in what quantity.
This update has been one of the most well-received by students, as the autonomy and customization that comes with cooking one’s own food is a new and much appreciated feeling. Another new change in the Upper Class Dining Hall includes the way in which the hot food is served; while we used to serve ourselves, we now ask for a helping and are served it by the dining hall staff.
This change is perhaps less welcome by many students, as it takes away some of the freedom of choosing exactly how much to put on the plate, and additionally seems to slow down the line quite a bit.
The hot food being served, however, certainly seems to have improved in quality, so the method is not exceedingly important, and the Upper Class Dining Hall’s changes are seemingly positive. Downstairs, in Dutch Hollow, there are also many positive changes.
For example, the quesadillas and burritos have vastly improved in both quality and efficiency, and I know students are quite thankful for this change in a go-to meal. There are also better and fresher options at the salad bar, and this once again gives students the freedom to build a customizable meal with wholesome and diverse ingredients to choose from.
Drink options have also changed in Dutch, as there is an entirely new dispensing system and new water, coffee and tea options to choose from. The addition of more options and a diverse array of foods, a common thread among all of the changes in Union dining, is an extremely helpful and welcome update, one that is sure to make students feel more positively about the food.
While some changes and deletions, such as the lack of chicken salad at O3 cafe or the discontinuation of the chili at Dutch Hollow, leave many students missing the options of the past, these negative feelings are, so far, few and far between. Any foods that have been taken away have been replaced with a multitude of options in their place, so complaining seems hard to do.
While I am not sure that the updates will completely quell the stigma around Union food, I do think they will at least quiet the complaints for a while. With it being so early in the term and so many positive things to say, I truly believe the changes are for the better, and adding more simple updates to the Union menu can only help us in the future.