Victoria Melnikova 0

Change Smith College Dining for the Better

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Dear Smith College,

As Smith College students living on-campus we would like to attract your attention to the following issue. As seniors who have been dining at each of the dining halls, we have noticed the decline of quality and decline of a number of dining menu options. As full-time students, we had the obligation to pay a total of $14, 950 for both room & board this academic 2015-2016 year. This amount imposed on our tuition bill forces us to purchase a dining plan if we like to live-on campus, given the declining quality of the food being served. If you look into past dining menus, in a week, students are given a choice of fried food, pasta, and overall a heavy carbohydrate diet that ultimately leads to fatigue and some more serious health issues. While there is a salad bar to choose from, we have noticed that there no longer is a variety of options of vegetables and/or they are not fresh. Also, this semester, the dining halls have changed the menu at mealtimes and have not been congruent to the menu that is posted online. Though we are fortunate to know beforehand of the menu for that day, we would like for dining halls to remain in accurate and follow the menu that is posted online.

Additionally, many students are limited by the hours of operation and meal times of the dining halls considering that they either have class, meetings, jobs, or extra-curricular activities. Given this, many students are not able to meet the dining hours and are forced to buy food off-campus or their own groceries. This adds a further financial strain on students that are already struggling to pay tuition, housing arrangements during break, books, supplies, and travel arrangements home. We realize that the current meal plan is convenient for some students living-on campus. Therefore, as a mean to keep each student’s best interest, we propose that the meal plan be separated from the rooming bill. This would allow students to choose and estimate the number of meals they would like to have in the dining halls and have that service available to them. To improve the quality of food and the variety of meal options, we propose that a survey be sent out to students asking for their feedback and how dining at Smith can improve. We realize that Smith has a number of projects and budgeting is crucial, however, we believe it is very possible to improve the quality of food at Smith College if given further attention. From an economic point of view, it seems easier to provide better quality food in smaller quantities given that Smith College has a small student population and there is a lot of food waste.

We acknowledge that there will not be any change in the upcoming year, however, we would like to draw your attention to this growing issue on campus. Students are becoming very unhappy with the meal plan and how it affects our nutrition and health, and most of all our limited budget. We need the appropriate nutrition in order to continue to live a healthy balanced diet and continue to academically succeed.

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