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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Dining Services Makes Student-Centered Changes for Fall 2023

Sophie Karbstein

Colgate University Dining Services updated dining offerings at each of its four campus locations to kickstart the new academic year, reflecting a renewed focus on satisfying specific student desires. A majority of the changes were focused on Frank Dining Hall, which debuted two new stations: La Mesa and Paper Lantern.

La Mesa is a made-to-order West Coast-Mexican concept station, explained Tiffany Simmons, marketing manager of Dining Services. The new offering replaced the existing Sono station that moved from Donovan’s Pub to Frank Dining Hall last year.

“La Mesa is a brand new concept to Chartwells; we’re one of the first schools to have it. Think Chipotle and Sono together,” Simmons said. “Everything’s made to order: you can get a bowl, a burrito, separate tacos, things like that. Across the way is now a salsa bar with chips every day, made in-house.”

According to an Aug. 22 email from Derek Good, the interim resident district manager of Dining Services, Paper Lantern is styled as a cook-to-order Asian concept station.

“[It has] a daily rotating menu including new flavors and old favorites such as Korean BBQ, dumplings, fried rice, ramen and pho,” Good said.

Simmons explained that the additions of La Mesa and Paper Lantern demonstrated how Dining Services is trying to consider student requests to offer more international cuisine.

“We listened all last year to student requests, and a lot of it was [that] they wanted more diverse food, they wanted to eat from other countries while being at Frank,” Simmons said. “We’re trying to do that as much as possible. [There are] only so many stations, but we are trying to do that.”

Other changes to Frank included the expansion and renaming of the allergen-friendly station — now known as Pure Eats — to the main line. Now, any student at the main line can consume food that avoids the nine major allergens. Sophomore Abigail McGuire appreciates the changes to Frank, as she believes there is a connection between the quality of a dining experience and academic success. 

“I think the aesthetics of a dining place and the food they serve really impacts whether you’re able to focus on actual schoolwork,” McGuire said. 

Sophomore Reem Numan also considers Dining Services an important part of the college experience and is therefore very receptive of the expanded options at Frank. 

“I feel like good meals just make happier students,” Numan said. 

At the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop), the new ‘Gate Grains concept provides a healthy option for students, taking the place of the Chopped and Wrapped salad and wrap stations that has been moved to the “& a Pickle” Boost-only deli and smoothie pickup station.

Chobani at the Hieber Café also launched Saturday Student Select Menus: weekly limited time offers developed by student employees. 

“Our student workers are putting together their own little hacks that they do. Obviously, they’re around the food every day, so they know what they put together to eat their own lunch there. They’re going to open that up to you guys on Saturdays,” Simmons said. “Each week will feature a different student worker and they get to make the menu. They’re being the executive chef for the day.”

At Donovan’s Pub, a menu revamp over the summer introduced brand new items to the menu, from loaded fries to smash burgers and chicken sandwiches. Simmons added that Donovan’s Pub is still a work in progress, and that students can continue to share their opinions toward shaping the future of the location.

“We’re still working on things. So if students see something last semester that isn’t on the menu this semester and they want it back, they can always recommend that to us. Either DM us on Instagram, use our text to chat, anything to get their opinions heard,” Simmons said. “We’re always open to hearing and changing things because we want to make you guys happy, because obviously we’re here for you.”

Simmons also noted the impact of feedback sessions held with the Dining Advisory Committee, a student council who meet with Dining Services every month. Sophomore Angie Zhu, a member of the Dining Advisory Committee, further explained how it gives students a voice.

“I believe the Dining Committee had a partial role in the new hall updates. Before any new plans or ideas roll out, we have the opportunity to discuss them and provide our own feedback and suggestions,” Zhu said. “The dining managers take our input seriously into account.”

Moving forward into the rest of the Fall semester and looking toward next year, Simmons hopes to continue incorporating student desires into Dining Services planning and decision-making.

“I think that our biggest [priority] is making sure that the students are happy, making sure that they’re eating what they want and that we’re changing things out… I know things get bland and you’re eating the same things, but we want to make sure that every day is exciting,” Simmons said. “We just want to make sure that you guys are as happy as you can be.”

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About the Contributor
Sophie Karbstein
Sophie Karbstein, Assistant News Editor
Sophie Karbstein is a sophomore from Jupiter, FL concentrating in Russian with a double minor in German and peace and conflict studies. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Baker's Dozen and News sections. On campus, Sophie is involved in women's rugby, German Club, and Russian Club. 

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