Students overlook dining resources, ignore new culinary improvements

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Students here at the College of William and Mary seem to always have something to complain about regarding dining services. Sometimes these complaints are about food quality and other times they criticize the limitations of Dining Dollars.

Students will complain about anything and everything related to Dining Services, and while these complaints are valid, students also ignore Dining Services’ various new improvements. 

Most recently, Dining Services posted some changes to its Facebook page that I expected to attract the attention of students.

They announced that Dining Dollars would now carry over between the fall and spring semesters, something that students have wanted in the past, and that students would now be able to buy dining dollars at an 11 percent discount. This means that students who do not have the chance to use all their Dining Dollars will not be wasting all their unused Dining Dollars or scrambling to spend them on paper plates and pop tarts at the end of the semester at the Student Exchange.

It also means that students who run out of Dining Dollars can save money by purchasing additional Dining Dollars at a discounted price. 

Dining Dollars are incredibly valuable to students, and these new changes seemed like they would be a big deal to students.

In the past, I’ve witnessed someone try to buy a coffee at Aromas Cafe at Swem about halfway into the semester, only for the barista to tell him that he had $0.99 left on his account and that he would have to supplement it with cash. Students would benefit from discounted additional dining dollars because of their addiction to caffeine, sushi and Chick-fil-A.  

I expected everyone to be talking about these changes, but instead, when I tell my classmates about these changes, they are always surprised.  

Everyone’s shocked responses made me think about how students generally do not know about new changes here at the College, especially when concerning dining services. For example, when I checked the website, I realized that students can order pizza through Commons Dining Hall and pick it up anytime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. I had no idea that this was a resource, and I have never seen anyone take advantage of it.

Students love pizza and ease, and this option fulfills both of those qualifications, especially for those living on that side of campus.

Also, there is an entire section on the dining services website called “Gifts from Home” made for family members who want to send their hard-working students care packages full of food, whether that is a cake for their birthday, healthy food options to avoid the “freshman fifteen,” comfort food for someone who is sick or many other types of food for many other occasions. Just like before, I never knew this was available, nor have I heard of parents utilizing this simple system. Instead, they normally buy items themselves, which can add up to something much more expensive, especially if you include shipping costs.  

I am not saying that dining services is perfect by any means. I still always check to see if the chicken from Sadler Center’s grill is cooked all the way through, since sometimes it isn’t, but overall, students are not aware of all the College’s improvements.

They have heard students’ complaints about Dining Dollars, so they listened. In response, barely any students have realized, and few take advantage of these helpful, new resources. 

I ask all students to actually investigate dining services’ resources, as well as everything else that the College has to offer, because they may be surprised and they may want to commend the College for once.

Email Alyssa Slovin at 

amslovin@email.wm.edu.