One of the hardest decisions for people to make while being on-campus for the day is what they are going to eat.
The process of choosing where to dine may be difficult, depending on various circumstances. There are decisions based on dietary restrictions, personal preference and desire for diverse meals.
Some may pack a lunch and make breakfast at home, while others may skip breakfast entirely and grab lunch on the go.
At Slippery Rock University, there is a wide range of dining facilities and options that not only provide for students, but also to faculty and guests. Options have a lot of variety and are spread out across campus. They all serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
The four main dining halls on campus are Boozel Dining Hall, Weisenfluh Dining Hall and Rocky’s in the Robert M. Smith Student Center (SSC). Each establishment contains smaller, more individual locations that can be chosen from inside.
Starbucks We Proudly Serve, previously T & B Naturally, is located in Bailey Library. Quaker Steak & Lube, also in the SSC, is contracted through the university as another dining option on campus.
This past fall was also the first year that SRU began its partnership and new contract for its food vendor service. For the next seven years, SRU will be partnering with Aramark, replacing their old contract with AVI Fresh.
With the new partnership came changes in meal plan options, ways to use their meal swipes and new food concepts within the dining halls. These new food concept changes are being implemented into different recipes and restaurants.
With so much change to the dining services on campus, the diversity of food offered is still a topic of interest for students.
Mackensie Roccia, a sophomore civil engineering major, described her concern with the type of diversity amongst food at SRU.
“Culturally I think it is diverse,” Roccia said. “However I think it should be tailored towards other ethnicities than Mexican and Italian, maybe for there to be German or Indian food options.”
She also explained having knowledge of diversity throughout campus dining and the food that is offered to accommodate religious beliefs.
“Right now they are catering dining options to Lent by offering seafood nights,” Roccia said. “I like that they consider religion and religious holidays too when offering food.”
A full time cashier that works for the SRU dining services, Tessa Reeseman, adds her knowledge about diversity in the food stations.
“I think the diversity is pretty wide spread, in Rocky’s the ‘Greens to Go’ station will change their menu each month,” Reeseman said. “Last month they were offering a type of Asian salad, and at Boozel they have the Twirl station which offers different ethnic pastas.”
Despite Aramark being newly contracted, they are motivated to emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of the food services as well as incorporating equity for their employees, clients and communities. They rely on the variety of voices to continue their development in global menus being offered by their creative culinary teams.
“We offer a variety of dishes across campus,” Aramark’s corporate communication department said via email. “Our weekly menus feature global dishes.”
We stress authenticity in ingredients and cooking techniques.”
While diversity in food is significant culturally, accommodating to varying dietary needs, allergens and preferences is also important. A junior social work major, Elizabeth Thomas, provided further insight into the accommodations that are implemented around campus.
“There are so many warning signs visible to us as customers, usually around the registers and definitely within Boozel,” Thomas said. “I love that there’s lots of options to choose from and accommodating, my sister is vegetarian and she feels better about coming to visit because of how many options are available.”
Aramark takes into consideration people with food allergies by even recommending students with dietary concerns to meet with their registered dietitian or a manager to discuss their needs.
They also accommodate those with food allergies by having an allergen food station in Boozel called True Balance. This station removes the top eight most common food allergens, while continuing to offer diverse menu items.
“Traditionally we see no limitations in providing diverse menus on campus,” Aramark’s corporate communication department said. “As we fully open more stations we will be expanding out offerings even more.”
For more information about meal plans, dining locations and almost anything concerning food at SRU, you can go to sru.edu/dining.
You may contact SRU dining services with any questions here: https://slipperyrock.campusdish.com/ContactUs.