The Residence Hall Association hosted a Residence Life Forum earlier this week. Present at the forum were representatives from several aspects of residence life, including members of the office of Residence Life, Housing Services, and Sodexo food services.
At the forum, students had the opportunity to ask the panelists questions about changes being made on campus and input their own suggestions for changes they would like to see made on campus.
An issue that was discussed at length during the forum was students being able to access nutritional information about the food served in the campus dining halls. Mr. Kevin Gilligan, the Sodexo representative present, pointed out that all menus and nutrition facts for all menu items can be accessed through Marquette’s Dining Services website
Gilligan said that Sodexo is also working on placing a computer in each dining hall that is locked on the Dining Services website so students can access nutritional information and menu choices in the dining halls.
Students also asked about more vegan and vegetarian options becoming available in the dining halls. Gilligan said that there are signs that will be put up in all the dining halls that mark next to each menu item whether they are vegan, vegetarian, carb-friendly or a well balanced option. Gilligan said that there are symbols next to the menu items in Cobeen, but the signs that explain what those symbols mean have not been posted yet.
“I personally don’t have a problem with the food here, I think it’s fine, but I know a lot of people complain,” said Briana King, a freshman in the College of Communication. King attended the forum as a member of the Residence Hall Association.
King did say that she would like to see more options available to students, including more vegetarian-friendly meals and more choices for Meal Exchange in Marquette Place.
“I have a friend who is a vegetarian,” King said. “She said that (the vegetarian meals) are all really starchy and she would like healthier vegetarian options.”
Gilligan also said that Sodexo is working on being able to offer milk instead of soda and fruit instead of chips in places that offer Meal Exchange.
King said that she would be grateful for an alternative to soda and chips.
“I feel obliged to drink the soda because it’s part of the meal exchange,” King said. She said that it feels wasteful to buy other drinks because they are not part of Meal Exchange.
“I treated myself to a water bottle today,” King said.
Some students expressed interest in more Destination Dining options, similar to the Cafe Italiano that is currently offered in Schroeder Hall. Mr. Rick Arcuri, associate dean for administration in the office of Residence Life said that the original Destination Dining plan called for two more places similar to Schroeder’s dining hall, but the logistics of where to put them and how to theme them are still unclear.