I still remember my first day walking in the Zorn Dining Commons (DC) and thinking I will never get bored of the DC food. I don’t know if I still think the same way.
The DC has about half a dozen food stations. The vegan station is my favorite since I get a never-ending supply of rice there. Another section I adore is stir fry, also because of the rice. I grew up eating rice twice a day, so it keeps me alive.
A disappointing factor is that during the weekends, the DC has no vegan or stir-fry options. It is really hard for people with dietary restrictions and food allergies to find something good to eat during the weekends. The salad bar would be the only universal option, and not everyone enjoys salad.
Previously run by Sodexo, the DC is currently run by Chartwells. I see Campus Executive Chef Troy Bellot running all over the place and interacting with students. The hospitality of the DC staff really makes me happy. I also enjoy the new feature in the DC where they have television screens above every station that informs you about the menu. It also displays if the food is vegan or vegetarian, however, one of the complaints I have heard about it is how it does not mention other allergies such as gluten, dairy, peanuts, soy and so on.
However, I recently found out that the DC has a “Don’t be Shy” tool under its Food Allergy Management. If you are a current student with a meal plan and have a food allergy, you can alert the management staff to your dietary needs. All you have to do is log in to the website of the DC and enter your information. According to the Keene State College Dine on Campus website, “A Don’t Be Shy card will be available for your mobile phone, or print one out to keep on hand. When you come into one of our dining halls, show an associate your card for personalized service.”
I think the opinions towards the DC and its food differs between people. For some students, the DC offers you the opportunity to not have to think about what to eat every night, while for others, they are forced to eat there because of the meal plans they bought. It serves different people differently.
If you ask me, the DC is a part of the culture of KSC. My friends and I all have pretty busy schedules and sometimes the DC is the only place where we hang out; a place to release your stress, talk about your classes, just goof around, come up with brilliant ideas or make plans to diet and get tempted by the desert section. “DC and Chill” is always one of the best experiences KSC students have on campus.
Puja Thapa can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org