Dining Services anticipates changes

Hanna Barker

Staff Reporter

Bored by Glar?  Unsatisfied with Sandella’s?  Disappointed that Fourth Meals are only available after 7 pm?  As early as next semester, the answers to all of these questions could be a resounding negative.

Students can anticipate many changes to dining services, effective Fall 2010.  Plans are in the works for dining hall renovations, changes to meal plans, and an overhaul of the menu at Sandella’s.

A group of administrators met mid-April to begin the design phase of dining hall renovations.  Members of the committee included Dean and Vice President of Student Affairs Beth Gerl, Vice President of Enrollment Management Florence Hines, Director of Auxiliary and Conference Services Mary Jo Colbert, Director of Facilities Planning and Capital Improvements Ed Sell, and Vice President of Administration and Finances Ethan Seidel.

Possible work to be completed this summer would include minor changes, such as painting and replacing light fixtures.  More intensive work could possibly happen over the next Jan term, in which case the Forum would be used as a temporary dining facility.

“It’s safe to say that when students arrive in the fall, they’ll see some changes,” said Dr. Seidel.

Beginning this summer, trays will no longer be available in Glar.  In October, the SGA conducted a survey that led them to recommend a Jan term trial of traylessness.  The McDaniel Food Committee concurred.  SGA passed the Official Resolution of the SGA “Trayless” Policy in Englar Dining Hall on March 22, according to which “the consensus of the student body supports a ‘trayless’ policy and implementation thereof” and “a ‘trayless’ policy would be reflective of a college policy that encourages stewardship of resources and our commitment to sustainability.”

Changes to the structure of meal plans are anticipated to begin in the fall. There will be an option for an unlimited meal plan.   This plan, costing $2,100 a semester, includes unlimited entrance to the dining hall, 3 guest passes, $50 debit dollars, and 40 Fourth Meals.  Additionally, meal equivalencies will be added.  Similar to Fourth Meals, meal equivalencies will come out of a student’s total allotment of meals for the semester.  Students can use them to eat at Sandella’s at any time throughout the day that it is open for business.  It is unlikely that meal equivalencies will be available at the Pub, because it’s limited capacity would not be able to handle the increase in patronage.  There has not yet been any decision made on how many meal equivalencies will be allowed per meal plan.

To go along with this change, the menu at Sandella’s will be totally revamped. The current menu was chosen by students back when Merrill Fitness Center was constructed.  McDaniel is working with Sodexo to come up with a new menu that will include a more varied range of selections. There are plans to invest money for more panini-style sandwiches.  Additionally, Sandella’s will introduce items such as soups, salads, deli selections, and regular pizza offerings.  A “grab and go” option will also become available.

“There are several venues in the dining hall to voice your concerns, likes, and dislikes.  We would also like student involvement with the Food Committee.  It meets the first Tuesday each month at 3 pm in the dining hall,” said Dr. Colbert.