High expectations surrounded the re-opening of the newly renovatedWeisenfluh Dining Hall, but students are not quite sold on the new”Fluh” yet.
The dining hall reopened on Monday with large crowds, but lines became smaller as the week progressed.
Shawn VanderBrook, a 21-year-old exercise science major, gave the breakfast at Elia a thumbs up, but believes that the lunch and dinner options are not going to please students.
“I tried the lemon chicken soup with a flatbread sandwich that had burned sirloin on it,” VanderBrook said. “The menu is too complicated to read and the portions are small for the high prices.”
Many students are angry with the dining hall because they are not able to use their meal plans.
Instead only Flex, Rock Dollars, cash and credit are accepted.
J.P. Powell, a 19-year-old psychology and philosophy major also tried a chicken flatbread sandwich with lettuce, tomato and pesto sauce.
He believes that the food is good, but that there will be a concern when students run out of Flex money.
“The food here is more expensive and so there’s definitely going to be an issue down the road when students can’t use their meal plans,” Powell said. “It’s also only open from 11-2:30, so it’s not a place students are going to be going to all of the time.”
John Vag, the district manager of AVI, understands that students have concerns about their Flex running out, but the university and AVI created new meal plan options to help with this.
“That’s why we made new meal plan options giving students more Flex and less meals,” Vag said.
Vag also addressed concerns about only having one traditional dining hall on campus.
“We did the contract with the school with the intent of moving more towards a retail style dining hall,” Vag said.
He also added that Slippery Rock was one of the last schools in PASSHE to have two traditional dining halls.
Executive Chef on campus, Dan Tokarek, feels that the new, healthier choices at Weisenfluh will be better and more enjoyable for students.
“The Met has new items such as the turkey and black bean burgers with steamed vegetables, and the ever-popular veggie and sweet potato fries,” Tokarek said. “This is the new destination station, and I think students will like the difference of this dining hall and the new concepts.”
The most popular item at Weisenfluh so far seems to be “The Met,” which is one of the burgers available at the gourmet sandwich station.
“It comes with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and cheese with a cracked pepper and honey mayonnaise dressing,” Ed Cavelli, sous chef at the ‘Fluh, said.
Small flukes took place on the grand opening of the dining hall Monday, such as problems with the registers and a leak at Horizons’ wrap station.
“We had Horizons open by 12:30 Monday afternoon, after a construction error took place,” Tokarek said. “We’re trying to learn from our mistakes, and we love getting feedback from the students. That’s the reason we’re here, to serve the students.”
Evan Andreyo, a 20-year-old exercise science major, was pleased with his chef sampler sushi from Elia, but is not looking forward to using all of his Flex money.
“My food was surprisingly good, but I had to bring my own water so that I didn’t have to buy a drink with my Flex,” Andreyo said. “The menu is also confusing and I wish they had examples of the food so that I knew what I was ordering.”
Liz Schaming, a 20-year-old theatre major, is impressed with the new look of the dining hall, and thinks that it definitely has a different feel than Boozel or Rocky’s.
“If Slippery Rock was trying to make it look and seem more like a restaurant, then they accomplished their goal,” Schaming said. “I think more people will come here because it’s more convenient for people who have class on this end of campus.”
Students are permitted to have refills at all drink stations and the Weisenfluh team is working on ways to better accommodate this problem.
“Contrary to belief, students can get free refills,” Cavelli said. “We’re going to be working on more efficient lines so that students can get their refills faster.”
So far, students have mixed reactions to the newly renovated dining hall, but the issue that meal plans are not accepted may cause trouble for the Fluh in the future.
“I’m going to change my meal plan so that I get more Flex money and fewer meals per week,” VanderBrook said. “But as far as using my Flex, I’d rather go to Rocky’s. I think it’s a better option for students.”