Students, Miller weigh in on dining changes

In an attempt to clarify students’ questions and concerns about recent changes in service, Yale Dining has posted a list of answers to frequently asked questions on its website.

Neither Yale Dining Executive Director Rafi Taherian nor Residential Dining Director Regenia Phillips responded to requests for comment for this article. But after a News article last Monday reported several changes to Yale Dining this year, including a new salad bar in some colleges and a later start time for weekend brunches, and students and administrators contacted Yale Dining with concerns, dining administrators attempted to explain some of the confusion on their website.

The information sheet confirms that the lunch swipe period in Commons now ends at 2:30 p.m., up from 4:59 p.m. last year. Students had previously reported being confused when they attempted to swipe at Commons for lunch after 2:30 p.m. and later found that their dinner swipes had been used. (Yale Dining’s website had listed the new lunch hour at Commons, but no announcement of the change was communicated to students otherwise.)

Yale College Dean Mary Miller said in an e-mail that she has expressed her concerns to Yale Dining about students who are unable to eat lunch before 2:30 p.m. She added that she has been assured by Yale Dining that these students will be accommodated, but she said she is unsure what exactly these accommodations will entail.

Yale Dining’s FAQ document says Dining has made “technical adjustments to [its] system” to deal with students who must eat lunch later than 2:30 p.m. but does not specify what those adjustments entail.

According to the document, Yale Dining has not permanently changed the hours of weekend brunch in the dining halls, which will still operate from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as before. Although the Dining website last week listed that brunch would begin at 11:30 a.m., the FAQ states that the brunch hours for the weekend of Sept. 4-5 were only changed to accommodate the Fall Festival event. (The event took place on a Sunday, but dining halls opened at 11:30 a.m. on that Saturday as well.)

The final sections of the document addresses students’ concerns with the new salad bar option currently being piloted in Commons and five residential colleges, which replaces a make-your-own-salad bar with pre-made salads. Yale Dining wrote in its document that the salad bars in previous years had been “on average less than satisfactory” and that the move to pre-made salads was an attempt to improve student experience.

Some students disagree: A Facebook event titled “I would like a salad bar please!” had 637 members as of Sunday night. Maddie Oliver ’13, who created the event, sent all members a message Saturday afternoon encouraging them to send their thoughts on the salad bar changes to Yale Dining using Yale Dining’s online feedback form. Some vegetarians, for example, have expressed disappointment that they cannot eat prepared salads containing meat.

Meanwhile, Silliman College Master Judith Krauss, on behalf of Yale Dining, sent all Silliman students an e-mail Sept. 9 with a link to a survey asking students’ opinions of the new salad bar choices in Silliman.

Yale Dining acknowledged they might not please everyone.

“We know that it will be very challenging and an unrealistic expectation that everyone will enjoy every single choice,” the document reads.

The new salads are currently offered in Commons, Morse, Berkeley, Jonathan Edwards, Silliman, and Timothy Dwight.

Comments

  • theantiyale

    **WHO’S WORKING FOR WHO HERE?** Students pay. They are the customer. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT : It’s that simple.

    Demand satisfaction: Stop pussyfooting around with equivocating bureaucrats.

  • comment

    Even the dining halls that still have salad bars have gotten much worse since last year. The salad bar is mostly empty space and the options are drastically fewer.

    Has anyone else noticed that the amount of meat-based entrees has gone up too? It has been really hard being a vegetarian this year. I feel even worse for the vegans, or people with food allergies. At least with a big salad bar we could all ensure that we got SOMETHING to eat. Dining staff is wonderful, but Rafi Taherian and the other managers and administrators are incompetent or just fleecing us on purpose. I guarantee I can put together a healthier, better salad than they can any day. Besides, it saves on prep time for cooks. Maybe they can focus on making some edible nutritious entrees instead. We certainly pay enough to deserve it.

    Did he steal the “salad bar in search of an end” line from Kafka? I’m not surprised.

    By the way, why can’t they ever answer a question for an article? Who is their boss? We may fund the whole debacle with our meal plans but don’t seem to have any impact.

  • MattM

    *“We know that it will be very challenging and an unrealistic expectation that everyone will enjoy every single choice,” the document reads.*

    Yale Dining is positively wrong to think that they could ever accommodate the countless demands of an entire student body, and yet Yale still requires that every student living in campus buy into a $26/day dining plan! While it is a true shame that Yale Dining is so unresponsive to the demands of those students it very well could satisfy, they also must realize that there will always be students who cannot survive on their food. Students must be free to remove themselves from this meal plan!

  • Yale12

    Yes, you cannot accommodate everybody, but I have yet to encounter a single person who thinks the new prepared salads are a good idea. WE PAY RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY FOR YALE’S MEDIOCRE FOOD; the least they could do is to give us some lettuce, veggies, and more than one kind of salad dressing (last night’s only option was creamy tarragon!).

  • sigh

    Who’s working for WHOM?

  • theantiyale

    @sigh,

    In certain moods I prefer to sound like a longshoreman rather than a pompous bore.

    For whom, pray tell are *you* writing?

    My audience should be painting placards right now protesting the end of Yale’s salad days, not bowing to Strunk and White’s Rule 10 before they dare burp.

    PK

    In criticizing *The Elements of Style*, Edinburgh University linguistics professor Geoffrey Pullum said:
    The book’s toxic mix of purism, atavism, and personal eccentricity is not underpinned by a proper grounding in English grammar. It is often so misguided that the authors appear not to notice their own egregious flouting of its own rules . . . It’s sad. Several generations of college students learned their grammar from the uninformed bossiness of Strunk and White, and the result is a nation of educated people who know they feel vaguely anxious and insecure whenever they write however or than me or was or which, but can’t tell you why.[10]

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”