Alfred University has recently made concise changes to this semester's on-campus dining. Students have been displeased at the food options and changes. Although the food situation is different, alternatives exist. Some options are new and others already existed prior to the semester. Students feel the university’s menu lacks diversity. With the changes and restrictions put in place, food services gets an F from the students.
The student's view:
Students were interviewed and asked about the current state of food on Alfred’s campus. It was made clear that the student body isn’t very interested in the menus presented to them. Students offered clear-cut opinions and even speculated on a few things. The quality of the food was criticized, along with what’s offered or lack thereof. Some students refuse to deal with on-campus dining and cook for themselves and others.
Alfred University senior, Chynna Moultrie, elects to cook in efforts to offer students a home-cooked meal. Her menu consists of a plethora of options ranging from stew chicken to mac & cheese. Moultrie is most famous for her bestselling empanadas.
“There aren’t a lot of choices for food. I personally don’t prefer any of the food out here but mine. I am used to diversity and flavor… the quality of the food is horrible and can be much better. I feel like my customers feel the love in my food not only because it’s mine, but because it’s a better option.”
She is located at 25 West University in the village and cooks 4 days out of the week of her choosing. The dinners are $15 and served from 7p-11p.
Other students offered similar and interesting perspectives in regards to campus food. AU sophomore Antoria Conde weighed in on the subject.
“Well, I think the food seems very limited because of COVID. I believe it’s limiting their options to offer us, it’s a hit or miss for me.” Conde went on to highlight cookies as being the best thing on the menu. Last semester she enjoyed using her meal plan to get food at Midknight, which no longer exists.
Upperclassmen encourage students to patronize businesses in the surrounding areas. Just outside of campus, Main Street includes several restaurants accessible to both campuses.
The three most mentioned spots among those who were interviewed were Duke’s Main Street Pizza, The Checkpoint Barbecue, and The Jet. Students spoke highly of the quality of food and service. Unlike on campus dining, they offer delivery and close pass at 9 o’clock.
There are modifications and differences from past semesters to the present.
Here’s what you should know:
The most noticeable change to the food system is the Get app. It is a mobile app that enables the student to place an order for pick up. It has the student's information installed in order to keep track of transactions and funds. This is the most noticeable change because the dining halls no longer accept the student ID/swipe card. All students with a meal plan need this app to order from Powell or to enter upstairs at Ade.
Both of the on-campus dining halls have made changes and restrictions. Ade switched from a buffet-style to ready-made food. Students can no longer scoop their own food or choose the servings. Even the silverware is wrapped up to prevent contamination. They also elected to eliminate the sandwich bar and plastic dining hall cups have been switched to disposables. Dinner runs 4-9pm, opposed to past year’s 5-8:30pm. The bottom floor of Ade once was Midknight, serving finger food and appetizers until 2 AM. It has recently transitioned to the Met which serves food until 7pm.
Powell used to be bustling with traffic on most evenings. These days there is more of an eeriness. Though there are two sit-in locations on the top floor, it is required of students to order ahead. In the past students would use their student ID/swipe card to purchase meals from a pretty nice selection. Now they offer Freshens, which is low calorie artisan food such as rice bowls and wraps. Students can pre-order from the app and it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to put it all together and they get an email telling them their order is in. There is also a Starbucks on the top floor of Powell, open from 7:30a-2p on weekdays 9-2p on weekends. However, there is no longer dining at Powell on weekends.
Alfred University and the majority of the surrounding establishments require employees to wear a mask and gloves. There are purple stickers placed around campus that indicate students must have a mask on upon entry. The protocol is being put in place to make Alfred a safe environment. Cutting crowds and lessening hand to hand contact was important. The quality of the service remains the same in both of the dining halls. Once food on-campus stops at 9 o’clock, students are left to fend for themselves. Students may not be aware of their options but there is safe and affordable dining available to those who feel like walking a little further.
By Jamall Lewis