Phase 1: Dining halls get a face-lift

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By Ryan Semerad

Union College’s Dining Services has undergone a face-lift.

Over the summer, the Upper Class dining hall and West dining hall have undergone renovations as part of a transition process orchestrated by Sodexo, the company behind Union’s Dining Services.

Along with new dishes, glasses and salt and pepper shakers, each dining hall has constructed a new reception area to greet entering students and faculty.

However, what is not so obvious is the fact that this face-lift is only phase one of a three-phase process Sodexo is orchestrating at campuses nationwide.

There is no time-table at this point for the completion of the entire transition, but phase one is slated to be fully implemented nationwide by next fall.

According to Dining Services Director David Gaul, this first transition puts “[Dining Services] in a position to re-invent what [it’s] doing.”Sodexo’s three-phase program is called Dining by Design and includes necessary changes like new silverware and plates, aesthetic alterations like restructuring the deli station and more concrete updates like a new menu.

This latter change will be included as part of phase three, but the process will begin for Union students in October when Dining Services releases a food preference survey to see how it can better serve students’ needs and preferences.

“There are so many experiences students have . . . It is really important that we get feedback from them in order to improve,” said Gaul.

Speaking with several students about the new look and feel of Union’s dining halls, the sentiment was generally positive. “[The staff] is really nice . . . We can see there’s an effort,” said Emma Montross ‘12.

However, not all students were pleased with the updates. Zoe Atlas ‘12 said the changes “make sense, but overall the food is the same.”

“The food is too soft,” said Steve McDermott ‘12.

The new look of Union’s Dining Services will continue to implemented over the next few weeks with improvements to the deli station at Upper.

“It will be a mock-Panera look,” said Gaul.

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