Student dining committee forms

by James Huddleston
Staff Writer

The next time you find yourself thinking that you can’t find anything healthy at the Rafskeller, that the salads at Jazzman’s Café leave something to be desired or that the tater tots in the cafeteria seem a bit bland, instead of grumbling to yourself or complaining to a friend, tell the head of the new student dining committee, junior Eryn Hornberger.

Hornberger founded the student dining committee this year, after being elected in January to the Student Government Association senate. The committee, whose purpose is to facilitate communication between students and the food service providers on campus, is currently composed of eight students (two seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and one first-year), but Hornberger would like to see four student representatives for each class.

“A lot of people talk about (the food on campus) but until now never really had a way of getting their voices heard,” said Hornberger. “The committee allows for students to communicate directly with the people who are actually making their food.”

Though recently formed, the committee has already effected changes in the types of food that are offered and the way in which they are prepared. Light ranch and fat-free Italian dressing have been added to the salad bar in the cafeteria, 1 percent organic milk is now being offered at the 1780 Café and oatmeal-to-go now supplements the menu at Jazzman’s. Additionally, the cafeteria will soon be receiving a rice cooker.

The committee, in conjunction with the sustainability office, has also lobbied for more locally grown food choices in the cafeteria. Thus far, they have succeeded in acquiring locally grown apples, pears, winter squash, polenta and, occasionally, meat, such as the steak used for steak night.
General Manager Amanda Langlitz has also implemented a labeling system to make identifying locally grown food easy. All such food will be labeled with the symbol “LG.”
“Amanda always tries her best to change things, within the realm of possibility,” Hornberger said. “She’s a very good listener and really wants to please students.”

As an exercise science major, Hornberger is working to lead the food providers on campus in a healthier direction. However, she assures students that she has no intention of imposing a healthy diet on them, but only wants to make healthier foods available as an option.

“I don’t eat healthy all of the time myself,” said Hornberger. “I don’t really know anyone who does. Sometimes I’m in the mood for ice cream or a slice of pizza from Goodfella’s, and that’s what I’ll eat. But I try to eat healthy more often than not. I think the key to eating well is balance.”

For those who find curbing their craving for pizza and cookies difficult, Hornberger offers her own strategy for coping.

“I typically start off with a salad,” Hornberger said, “so that way I am less hungry when I move on to the main course, and I know I at least had something healthy, regardless of what I eat later.”
Eating healthy in college may be a challenge, but it is one Hornberger, through the student dining committee, hopes to make a bit easier.

The committee meets the first Tuesday of every month.

“It is a very laid-back atmosphere and all opinions are welcome,” said Hornberger. “Anyone who is interested should definitely check it out.”


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