- Letters to Editor
BY: ZANA DAY
Eating on campus is more palatable to for some students thanks to changes from EKU Dining services.
Student feedback has led to several changes by EKU Dining Services to provide more variety, including a to-go option is now available in upstairs Powell. Dining Services has also made steps to offer more gluten-free menu options through their facilities.
Charity Bradley, district marketing manager for EKU Dining, said the changes were made because of feedback from students, most of which came from the EKU Dining’s social media sites on Facebook and Twitter.
“We are always open to feedback and make changes to the dining program because of student feedback, surveys, and trends,” Bradley said.
“A to-go program was added to the Fresh Food Company (upstairs Powell) because of a Tweet on January 29th from D9 Colonels, the official page of EKU’s National Pan-Hellenic Council,” Bradley said.
Bradley said students can leave their Colonel 1 Card at the register and will get a carry-out box and drink cup. Students have 10 minutes to gather to-go items and pay at the register and pick up their card.
Rachel Ormsbee, 19, a psychology major from Florence, said she the to-go option would allow students with strict schedule demands more flexibility regarding their meal plans. She said it option she could utilize in the future at times when she needs to study and she works an off-campus job.
“Usually, with work I don’t have time to sit upstairs and eat, so getting it to-go would make it a lot easier for me,” Ormsbee said.
Bradley said EKU Dining has also increased gluten-free menu options and added signs signifying gluten-free products in the food court (downstairs Powell).
“We are working to increase the gluten-free options for people that suffer from gluten intolerance.” Bradley said.
Bradley said chefs in the Fresh Food Company have been communicating with students who have Celiac disease to develop new menu options.
“Chef Pegan sat down with students individually to talk about the severity of their specific allergy and come up with a plan. Through one-on-one communication with the chef, these students are able to find out what options Chef Pegan has selected for them, choose one, and let him [Chef Pegan] know when to prepare it.”
Nichole Arbino, executive vice president of Student Senate, helped to advocate the changes regarding gluten-free menu items. Arbino said after being diagnosed with Celiac disease last semester she realized the options were limited for student with Celiac disease and other food allergies.
“I realized it’s really hard to eat on campus if you have severe allergies,” Arbino said.
Arbino said most menu options offered were either exposed to wheat gluten or included wheat gluten which limited the selection at the Fresh Food Company.
Arbino said she approached EKU Dining services with her concerns, meeting with officials twice on her own. EKU Dining also met with the Student Government Association (SGA) twice to hear various concerns.
Arbino said although EKU Dining has made strides to offer more options for individual with gluten allergies she would like to more options made available to individuals with other allergies as well, particularly in the Fresh Food Company.
“I hope they extend it beyond gluten for people with other allergies,” Arbino said.
Charity Bradley said EKU Dining encourages feedback from students. Comments can be made through “EKUDining” on Twitter, on Facebook at “Dining at Eastern Kentucky University”, student can text comments using the code 55744 using the code “ekuup” or “ekudown”, or students can visit the website ekudining.com.
“We really do want to hear from you and in person is always the best, quickest way to get results,” said Bradley, mentioning students can go to the office in lower Powell to voice concerns.