By Elizabeth Van Pilsum, Staff Writer
One of the most discussed aspects of Saint Vincent College is the food; if you are ever struggling for a conversation starter, you know that talking about the food is a go-to. Lately, students have noticed changes in the promotional elements of the college’s dining services. This increase in events is partially due to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions as well as Parkhurst’s creation of the role Engagement Coordinator at SVC, which is currently being held by SVC alum Annie Trader.
The main goal of the Engagement Coordinator is to foster a positive environment between the SVC Community and its dining services through marketing. Annie Trader, along with Parkhurst’s Office Manager Marty Radocaj, is trying to do just that. “Our company felt it was important to continue to build, and expand, guest engagement throughout each semester,” Trader and Radocaj said. “We want to ensure our freshmen feel welcome and have the tools and knowledge they need to utilize all of the dining services available to them. We also want to support SGA, APB, and other college clubs and organizations with engagement goals, and most importantly, create spaces for students to come together and share a meal.”
In order to better community engagement, some new opportunities are available for students. For example, there are two limited time offers every month, one at the Shack and one at the Barista, that allow students to enjoy specialty offerings that are either not available all the time or that students are not always aware of. These limited time offers allow the college to gauge the popularity of certain ingredients, and if the offers do well, SVC may consider adding them to the menu full-time.
A noticeable change in the Community Center is the “Food Facts” white board, which includes tidbits about food history, jokes, and other facts. This is not a new item to the school; it was located outside of the dining office for several years. However, this semester, it was moved to the Community Center where there is heavier traffic.
Saint Vincent College is working to create more engagement opportunities for their students this year, such as “National Coffee Day” at the Barista and “Breakfast for Dinner” in the Community Center. Another new initiative is the Community Center’s “Inspired Eats.” “Inspired Eats utilizes specific recipes that are completely free of all of the top 9 allergens and gluten,” Trader and Radocaj said. “Most of the Inspired Eats recipes avoid processed products and focus on whole foods.”
Trader and Radocaj emphasized that students have a lot to look forward to this semester, such as National Pierogi Day, a Halloween Contest, and dino nuggets in the Community Center. There will also be various pop-ups, local vendor samplings, guest engagement surveys, and monthly wellness trivia on Instagram. To stay up to date on all that is planned, Trader and Radocaj recommend following @saintvincentcollegedining on Instagram to get notified on events and changes that may be happening regarding dining services.