Student Opinions on New Comms Food Provider
There are mixed opinions about the new campus food provider. For the most part, the reviews range between horrible and meh… not that bad. I think that last year’s food provider Sodexo was way better than Aramark, the new food provider. I liked that you could just go to the first station and find a healthy meal instead of having to hunt around. With Sodexo, it was very easy to find something healthy. All you had to do was go to the first station and then go make a side salad at the salad bar. My main complaint about the new food provider is that they don’t have the healthy options lined up at one station. According to our Instagram poll, half of Southwestern students don’t like the new food provider and the other half are equally split between liking it and it being the same as our old provider.
I was surprised by the healthy gourmet samples handed out at the commons last year. These were said to be previews of what the new food provider would feature. I don’t exactly remember what the samples were. I don’t recall specifically what food was served, but I remember being struck by the high quality ingredients. There were obscure options from many different cuisines and intricately sauced street tacos. The samples had stuff like goat cheese, pine nuts, arugula– and other yummy stuff that college students can’t afford to buy at the grocery store. I would assume that food of this grade isn’t economically possible for a school cafeteria. My expectations were set pretty high by these bougie previews of our new food provider. In elementary school, I wrote a letter to my cafeteria requesting the addition of a chocolate fountain. These sneak peaks of our new food provider made me feel like a healthy version of my dream was coming true. So when I came back in the fall and I was disappointed by reality. I was expecting a menu featuring Asian fusion, kale, and generous slices of avocado. Instead, I was met with belly-ache-inducing southern comfort food, lots of pork, and strange vegan versions of traditional meat dishes.
Senior Emma McCandless has found that there are more allergy friendly options. She appreciates the addition of the gluten free station and says that “the new salad bar slaps!” with its chilled pasta dishes. Transfer student, Andrew Cutting, thinks that the Southwestern cafeteria food is far better than what was offered at Austin College. Nicole Hislop tends to pour hot sauce on everything because she thinks the food is pretty bland. I laughed when she told me this because I do the exact same thing. While eating at comms, I have a fork in one hand and a giant bottle of Cholula in the other. Nicole thinks that the food was better the first month of school and has declined since. I have found the opposite to be true, to me the food seems to be progressively getting better as time goes on. Although I do miss the old food provider, I am optimistic about the new one due to the gradual improvement I have seen throughout the semester. The commons now has a survey for student feedback.