By Hayley Schulze, Staff Writer
At the beginning of this school year, I was apprehensive to use my first meal swipe to enter the dining hall. All I could think about was years past: the “fresh fruit” from a can, grisly excuse for protein and deep-fried everything. After reluctantly handing my ID to the card swiper, I trudged into the dining hall, cringing at the thought of what awaited. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the changes that appeared before me. There was fresh fruit of all kinds that I would never expect to see in my own refrigerator. Simple things, such as name brand cereals, no longer seemed to be a luxury.
As a junior, I have seen significant changes in the dining services since I was a freshman wandering aimlessly through campus with a fresh Furman sweatshirt and my ID badge around my neck. The dining hall, commonly referred as the DH by Furman students, now accommodates for both allergies and dietary preferences: featuring everything from a gluten free station to vegan options.
The success of the DH can be partially attributed to the new Student Wellness Coordinators hired this year, Jordan Ellis and Susie Morphis. These two health science majors were hired along with Allie Buff, a sustainability science major, in order to help improve the health and conservation of the dining services on campus.
I was able to talk to Susie Morphis about the changes she has seen and how the newly-hired coordinators are working tirelessly to make sure students are heard.
“All three of us listen to student feedback and give it to our superiors for them to put into action with our assistance,” she said. She was very enthusiastic to speak about these changes, for she too, as a junior, remembers what it was like in the dark days. “One of the big things that we are trying to do is allow people with dietary limitations to eat well in the DH,” she told me. “We work continuously to improve the ‘Dining for Life’ station, or the gluten free station.” This is true, as gluten free people can now enjoy substitute carbohydrates to fit their needs.
Despite all these efforts, I still expected these significant changes to quickly fade, yet they continue to remain strong and constant. This is largely because of the good the Student Wellness Coordinators are doing—working with the dining company to ensure that students truly are being heard. They are open to criticism, but deserve positive feedback as well. As I am sure my fellow upperclassmen have realized, there truly has been considerable change in the DH food since our arrival at Furman.
So thank you, DH, for truly listening to our requests. We appreciate the changes, and I look forward to many fresh strawberries in the future.