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Promising future plans for Calvin’s dining halls

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Student senator Nathan Slauer and student senate vice president Josiah Sinclair are planning a promising project to enhance Calvin’s dining hall food options. They are working with the dining hall director to create a brand-new food advisory committee.

According to Slauer, this committee will join other committees of Calvin and serve to “allow students to meet up with dining hall staff in a formal manner to present their ideas to provide a more tangible contact between students and staff.”

Slauer hopes that this connection will provide better vocalizing opportunities for students than ones currently being provided.

“The committee seems like a good idea and is a really effective way of coming to a compromise in terms of food. Many people will be happier,” Benedicta Arthur, a current freshman who was the president of the food committee in her own high school, said. Students like Benedicta are encouraged to see that an open communication medium is being created between dining hall staff and the student body.

“This way we know what Calvin’s students want and appreciate,” Arthur explained.

Students on campus share the same vision as the student senators. Both students and the officers are eager to see a revolutionary connection created between the two sides.

Slauer and Sinclair are hoping to begin the committee’s project next semester. Current project plans include introducing more international foods and specialized foods, such as more vegetarian and vegan options. The senators are also hoping to enhance the environment of the dining hall. The focus is “giving students an educational environment, too,” Slauer said.

“It is very important for students to be involved in what they are eating,” Slauer said.

He hopes that the students’ involvement with the dining halls goes beyond food consumption.

Slauer also states that “there is no particular shortcoming in the dining halls,” and that the project was instigated because he hoped to introduce his passion about foods to the students through the committee.

“I want people to feel at home, and have their particular eating styles represented,” Slauer said.

The idea is to go beyond delicious foods and cultural experiences. It is to also add enhancements to special events at the dining halls that just haven’t lived up to their expectations yet.

Students are voicing both eager anticipation and genuine concern regarding the planned project, predominantly in the food prospect of the project.

“We need more vegetarian options,” Noah Reed said. He was excited to hear that the project encompassed emphasis on minority foods, such as vegan and vegetarian options for students.

“Any effort to enhance any of the dining hall options is welcome,” added Willard Noyes, who wants some form of a positive change in the dining halls food options.

“One of the main platters or hotline options could be international food,” Kyle Britton suggested. He is just as excited to have a variety added to the food options.

However, students did have some concerns. Reed wonders if focusing on international foods or minority foods would cost him his usual plate of hamburger and fries.

“Would the general foods be compromised?” Reed questioned.

Concern is also being expressed in the food quality.

“We are concerned because we don’t know whether authentic international foods will be produced,” Britton said.

“What defines international foods?” Willard Noyes wondered.

Students are openly expressing concerns about what the addition of more food options would mean for the quality of the food. For students, the issue seems to reside in the outcome of the foods that will be introduced.

“I encourage it,” Arthur said, remaining positive for the changes that Slauer and Sinclair are hoping to provide within the dining hall.

“Individuals can join and volunteer. We are looking for students to be part of the committee,” Slauer said, readily welcoming students to get involved in the project.

The dining halls have a bright future waiting. Anticipation and uncertainty rests within the students. Currently, the planning for the project appears to have a positive start and the senate officers are eager to launch the project. Students, student senators and the dining hall staff alike have to wait and see the outcome after the project launches, hopefully in the next semester.

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