Dining hall lacks diversity in foods

By Jessica Plessner

New Hall dining services has taken a turn for the worse in the variety of food it offers.

As a second-year student, I have noticed a change in the daily meals provided by student workers and staff. Areas such as the Huskie Club, the Flame, the Salad Bar and the Brick house have become notorious for serving the same thing for days on end.

Also, fewer of the rotating menu options are being made. Entrees such as the mashed potato bowl, quesadillas, and french toast sticks, among other things, are no longer being offered as frequently as they once were.

Consequently, I have eaten less and even found myself walking into the cafeteria and back out many times a week.

Terri Mann-Lamb, New Hall dining manager, said the variety has not changed, but some equipment is inoperable. Mann-Lamb declined to say which equipment was not working and how that had an effect on the variety of food.

“I often find myself walking into New Hall with a big appetite. I look for something different to eat besides my daily sandwich,” said sophomore psychology major Nicole Covello. “Once I finish glancing each section that New Hall has to offer, I find myself eating the same thing I always do because of the lack in variety.”

There are many things that go into the creation of a meal. While inoperable machinery may control a portion of what is available, that doesn’t completely explain such a low number of options in general and for people seeking alternatives for health reasons.

“I feel that New Hall has a good variety of foods, but at the same time it’s still very hard to find food there that works for gluten free and allergenic students,” said Jeslyn Linares, sophomore elementary education major.

As a student paying good money for the food that is offered at NIU, I don’t feel I am getting the variety I am paying for. More than $1,200 is spent each semester by New Hall students for an unlimited meal plan with flex dollars, according to the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management’s website. That makes the cost of eating at New Hall more than to $2,400 a year. That’s too much money for so few options.