Dining service that we can all count on
I’d like everyone to take a moment and think about his or her college memories. It doesn’t matter if you are a first semester freshman or a senior closing in on the home stretch—at least one of those memories will have taken place in a dining hall. For some of you, it may be the dance party the Woodsman Team started in Foss, a food fight during Doghead or just one of those Sunday brunches where the number of plates rivaled the number of laughs. Food is often the center of our day: we schedule ourselves around beating that 12 o’clock rush on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we are ever so anxious to introduce our parents to the wonderful people that facilitate our culinary enjoyment.
It is these very people—the card swipers, chefs, servers, dining hall managers, etc.—who make our dining and in turn college experience what it is. Frankly, would anyone’s college experience be the same without Foss Falafel, Dana Sauce, or Bobs Doughnuts? Simply, unless you have allergies to all of the above, it wouldn’t be. But I know my college experience also wouldn’t be the same without the Marys, Dottie, Pam, Nancy, Terry, Eva, Theresa, Keith, Joe Klaus and the rest of the staff.
Dining Services’ sole purpose is to provide for the students. They aim to reach beyond just filling our stomachs by constantly improving the food we eat and enhancing the spaces in which we eat it. Colby’s Dining Services meet regularly with a committee of staff and students to discuss concerns, philanthropic outreach and green initiatives. While change may sometimes feel slow, and the contract with Sodexo can pose some roadblocks, Dining Services is always eager and excited to work with students.
My sophomore year, in a meeting about spacing for a Taco Bell event, I brought my yearning for Greek salad dressing to Joe Klaus’ attention. Without missing a beat, he picked up the phone, called purchasing and investigated the possibilities. Clearly, there is no Greek salad dressing in any of the salad bars. This is not because Joe didn’t want to provide it to the students, but because they don’t sell it in the appropriately sized container we use at Colby. While I didn’t get my salad dressing, I did get answers, and I got them right away.
While that was an instance of moderate success with Dining Services, there are countless ways that I can think of in which they delivered exactly what the students want. For example, when SGA Co-President Laura Maloney met with the director of Dining Services to address concerns about the lack of beverage availability in the “New Dana,” not only did they provide another water faucet, but they went as far as to double the amount of beverage stations available, and they did so in under two weeks.
From class dinners with mouthwatering menus and decorations galore to some of the tastiest ribs I’ve ever tasted, Dining Services really does work tirelessly for us and with us. I’ve heard rumors that the man who fries the doughnuts never sleeps! With all that they do and provide, I think they deserve a little more recognition from the students. As you walk out of Bobs after reading this, I encourage you to ask Dottie how her crossword is going before saying thank you.
Should a comment card present itself to you, not only should you write down that we should have sausage patties more often (the turkey links just don’t cut it), but you should also let them know how appreciated they are. While I would like Caramelita and/or Golden Graham bars every day, and there never seem to be quite enough cups during peak grazing hours, Dining Services does a lot for the students, and I am grateful to eat in their dining halls day after day.