As a Delaware State student that lives on campus, you are required to purchase a meal plan. Many students don’t even use their swipes daily due to complaints about hours, quality of food, as well as a lack of options. For example, during the past three lunch shifts, certain foods have not been available while some of the same foods are.
This list of available foods includes the fresh salad bar, chicken tenders, fries, hamburgers, vegetables of the day, starches as well as fruit. But for dinner with large quantities of students, our school has provided lots of food for any people.
On Thursday I spoke with Delaware State’s Executive chef Mark Lowman, who said he cares about our students and what they are putting in their bodies. For example, students with allergies prepare their food separately away from other groups so there is no cross-contamination. “The students might have to wait for their meal, but the wait is worth it”. Thirdly Mark stated that “unlike other semesters our numbers of students coming in have been around eight hundred and seventy-five to a thousand students strong and have not tapered off”.
On Thursday DSU always hosts its annual wing night and to prepare for it he starts at least one day prior. “First, we make sure the chicken has been thoroughly washed then patted dry, placed on a sheet tray, and then seasoned before being placed on a tray to be fried the next day to a crispy golden brown, ” he commented.
Mark is passionate about what he does and has a standard that must be met and if not met exactly must come close. When feeding many students not only must we order enough food, but we must understand things need to be prepared correctly to a high standard for nutrition by watching the salt content, making the food taste good and look good. Finally, Mark stated that “students’ opinions about the food they are eating means a lot.” He even asked that students have days for culturally appropriate food. Thursdays are set as Wing night; Tuesdays are Taco Tuesday/ Mexican cuisine; Wednesdays are for Italian cuisine; and Mondays are a comfort food feel.
On Tuesday though the Ville had no meat options except for sandwiches. On Thursday there was shrimp to put in the stir fry, but stir fry has been available essentially all week. From the beginning of the week, the cafeteria was full of students attempting to get something to eat, but by Friday the population of students went down fifty percent.
After talking to students Lea Mischel and Lauren Davis both had two things in common : Being frustrated with the food options in the Village cafeteria and not Conrad dining hall. “Surprisingly just one semester ago food options were way more diverse and more appealing to students at the Ville, ” said Lea Mischel. Lauren Davis opted to move where she is not required to have a meal plan and that is something she enjoys. “Being able to allocate money to resources and eat what you want and enjoy is a no-brainer compared to paying for meals that have gone down in quality, taste, and options at one of our dining locations.”
The semester before last the Ville was constantly filled with people and at times you could not find a place to sit. This is not the case this semester. One can only hope for an improvement as the semester rolls along. But an overall rise in quality at our Conrad location.