By Brendan Maher
From a total restructuring of the entrance and exit process to new, smaller soda fountains, the cafeteria is evolving.
But these and other changes are only steps in a greater plan - and as is with anyone only viewing the individual phases of a large process, students have been confused as to why these changes are happening at all.
A response to a card on the cafeteria message board indicated that the alarms were recently installed on the exists "to prevent theft."
Jamie Ballew, senior general manager of Parkhurst Dining at Saint Vincent, explained that while food theft through improper use of the exit door was a problem in the past, it is not the sole reason for the change in the cafeteria.
He explained that the college's capital campaign was primarily responsible for the dining hall's changes.
"The old exit has been alarmed and planned to change and will become windows, with much needed additionally seating added to that space to accommodate the future needs," he said.
Because of this, Ballew said, the flow of guests in and out of the cafeteria still needs to be rerouted.
Knowing this, the current changes were made to begin acclimating guests.
"We want to begin getting everyone used to a new flow so that when updates begin, we can minimize the impact to all aspects of the dining hall." Ballew said, "It will require quite a bit of planning and working in phases to achieve the ultimate goal with minimum interruption to daily life of the community."
Ballew also stated that while the entrance process has not significantly changed and has only moved location, dining is working to see if it is possible to add a second ID card reader to better handle the flow of guests during peak hours.
As the capital campaign continues, so too will the changes to the cafeteria.
According to Ballew, an upcoming feature guests can look forward to is the addition of Aqua Fresca-brand water and fresh brewed ice tea to the daily selections this year.
"Our hope is to have it in place when we return from fall break," Ballew stated.
Ballew also said that the changes to the beverage options, such as the infused water added last year, are a response to guests trending away from drinks with higher sugar content.
Students had mixed views on the recent developments.
Student Alec Richard had a negative outlook. "I think the new entrance slows things down, and crowds the hallway more," he said.
Spencer McKee, a Bonaventure Hall representative, was also dissatisfied. "I was really in favor of the changes in the Spring, but I feel like the food has lost quality this semester," he said.
Danny Whirlow, a junior, commented on some of the long-term changes he has seen take place. "The food quality has improved significantly since I was a freshman. I really like how they do new things in the cafeteria, and that's the big thing for me. They innovate on their food; I like that a lot.
Madilyn Thompson, a freshman, offered her opinion as a newcomer. "I think the food could be better, but I do like that they give a lot of options. I would lie better quality of food in the future."
Jeremiah Stickles, a junior, focused on what he specifically enjoys. "I've always enjoyed it; they at least have some nice food here. And they always have ice cream, and that by itself is a big plus for me."