As the first year students roll in, their opinions on the Dining Commons (DC) have seemed to change. Orientation was only around a month ago and although new students were in for a treat with all the possibilities the DC has to offer, sometimes a little change is needed, which calls for a little creativity.

Being creative in the DC involves combining things from other stations, making it possible to create a whole different meal than what is offered.

A lot of people don’t think about doing this until a couple months into the school year.

There are many stations available at the DC including, pasta, pizza, burger/chicken patty, stir fry, wraps, gluten free, salad bar, dessert bar, cereal station, and the ice cream machine.

General Manager of the Dining Commons Josef Quirinale encourages students to get creative with their meals.

“You don’t have to take just what is being offered at each station, you can pick and choose from different stations and then create your own meal. For instance you can take pasta from the gluten free area if you’re concerned about gluten, go to the stir fry station, and chose your vegetables; you can even say I want that without a sauce and have them do it in a gluten free pan for you, and then you can go to the pasta area and put tomato sauce on it, which is really neat,” he said.

Quirinale said students “can do many different things” with their food.

File Photo/ Tim Smith

File Photo/ Tim Smith

“I’m not sure that many students are really aware of that, but we want them to be creative, we don’t want them to be bored,” he said.

First-year Caitlin Watkins said her opinion of the food at KSC has changed since orientation.

“At first I thought there was a variety, but after a month of being here I realized it’s not,” Watkins said.

“I really wished they had some grilled chicken more often, not always baked and fried and processed, just some plain grilled chicken,” Watkins said.

She also said she wished they had more gluten free options.

It’s evident that students can get bored of the DC food sometimes, but creativity is a must when we want to spice it up, literally and figuratively.

Watkins said she believes the food has changed since orientation.

“I think the french fries aren’t as good. At orientation there wasn’t a lot of pasta options but now there’s a lot. There’s more gluten free stuff now, but there’s still not as much as there should be,” she said.

Quirinale said the food is “all prepared the same way in the same kitchen and culinary staff” during orientation and the school year.

“The variety may change a little bit,” he said.

“When you look at the orientation meal, there’s a different budget than there is for during the year. So, understand that when a student buys a meal plan they’re only really paying $5.40 per meal. So that changes sometimes, the menu, it doesn’t change the quality, it doesn’t change anything,” Quirinale said.

The Money for College Project reported a survey done by College Board that said the average per meal price with a college meal plan is anywhere from seven to 11 dollars.

Next time you head to the DC, walk in with an open mind knowing that you have the ability to make your food how you want it, the possibilities are endless!

Julie can be contacted at

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