Megan Miller | Contributor
"I can't remember the last time I've actually had a decent meal at the DC."
"Yeah, I can never find anything to eat."
I hear this type of conversation on a daily basis, but I can never manage to see where my peers and classmates are coming from with these thoughts. I can only see the large strides that the Dining Commons (DC) staff make to keep the students of Taylor University happy. These employees make three meals a day for around 2,100 Taylor students and 200 Taylor faculty and Upland community members. To me, that is absolutely incredible. These workers serve us with full hearts and care about our opinions. I think we should all appreciate what the DC is currently doing for Taylor and the ways the staff is seeking to improve the DC experience.
Through my investigations of our Dining Commons, I was able to interview two people: Nate Haugh and Jennifer Evans. Haugh, the director of dining for the DC, confirmed that the food quality was poor about a year and a half ago. But since then, he has noticed a dramatic shift in the way the DC is run and the options they offer. Recently, through food station takeovers, Haugh says that, "We've been able to bring excitement back to the DC."
They hope students look forward to what is coming next. According to Haugh, employees love to hear student's thoughts on changes, and he is always open to ideas and criticism.
The staff highly value the voice of the student and are constantly looking for ways to better serve the campus and the community.
Not only is the DC continuously improving for the student's benefit, but it is something many take for granted.
According to Feeding America.org, 910,870 people are struggling with hunger in Indiana, including our Upland area. With the swipe of a card, we have instant and accessible meal options. We often take for granted the ability to eat well-prepared food that has many options three times a day. The DC has plenty of variety for anyone, whether you have allergies, or you are just a picky eater. We get meals provided to us, whereas people who might live next to campus could be struggling to put food on the table for their families.
While many complain to friends and to others about the food, not many students take the time to fill out comment cards. Evans, the DC manager, has been working there for thirteen years and has noticed change. Through takeovers and comment cards, a huge difference has been made in food options and efficiency.
"If people don't want to comment on the comment cards they can come talk to me personally and I would be happy to meet with them," Evans said.
Through my visits with Haugh and Evans, I have been able to see their willingness to listen to students. This speaks volumes about the DC and its desire to make students happy and improve its food. The DC is a great place to gather and have a meal with your wing, sports team, or your friends. It is a place where we know we will be cared for and invested in. Everyone may have different opinions on the DC, but I hope that this article gives more insight into how I see our food providers. I stand for the Dining Commons and all that it provides for Taylor's students and community.