Despite popular belief, students have a say in dorm food decisions
Dorm food is a part of every freshman’s daily life. Yet many students feel dissatisfied with meals and that their voices go unheard.
The man behind the menu is Executive Chef Kerry Paterson. Paterson comes up with menu ideas by evaluating previous menus. He then tries to upgrade the menu by introducing new products.
Every month there is a testing seminar where new products are blindly tested against current products to see which one works better. Additional meetings are held three times a year to correspond with the three seasonal menus.
Managers and chefs are called to these meetings for their input.
“I go to the meetings, but the people they really listen to are the students,” said Bill Kelsey, Kittredge chef.
The use of comment cards is very important; theses cards are located in each dining hall around campus.
“If the students don’t fill out the comment cards, people have no idea. If no comment cards are filled out, then things will go unheard,” Kelsey said.
Many menu decisions are at the discretion of the chefs.
“They base the menu on nutrition and variety to give students things they never had,” Kelsey said. “I think that is all well and good, but they should also give stuff they know the students enjoy, like chicken nuggets.”
Surveys are also given to allow students to voice their opinion about dining hall food.
“The surveys filled-out are very much valued,” Paterson said
Pizannos, the new grab-and-go in Cheyenne Arapahoe, is the result of student criticism.
“The concept of Pizannos was designed around student input for more organic and natural foods. It is turning out to be a big success,” Paterson said.
However, students still complain about the dorm food.
“The dorm food is good for a little bit. Then I start to get sick of it,” said Valerie Etzwiler, a freshman integrative physiology major. “I don’t think I get any input, none.”
Danielle McDonald, a freshman open option major, agreed.
“I think we get like zero input,” McDonald said. “The food is okay. I hate most of the dorm food except for Cheyenne Arapahoe and Libby.”
The dislike for the food is growing. Students who feel like their input is going unheard must fill out comment cards found in each dining hall to make a difference.