New service, same prices

New student orientation can be very deceiving when it comes to matters of dining on campus. In our academic careers at St. John’s, we’ve been rudely awakened by the repetition of mediocre meals served in Montgoris throughout a semester.

This Spring semester now holds more surprises with the signing of Chartwells. Is it enough to satisfy our hungry stomachs?

Montgoris has stepped its game up by showing more personal chefs, letting you watch where your food is made, and also providing more self-serve options. They even have some terrific new dishes, including an excellent curry chicken. The new food options and the fresh new look make Montgoris much more bearable.

The changes made in the Marillac dining hall were far more subtle than the renditions made to Montgoris. Marillac made changes that were mostly un-noticeable, spread a few tables apart to breakdown cluster, received a new paint jobs, and revamped the Japanese food station.

Perhaps, when brainstorming ways to improve the students’ lunch experience, officials took the consistently long line in front of Burger King and Taco Bell to mean that students were satisfied for the most part.

It’s good to see the University trying to give back to the students for once. However, there still needs to be steps taken to give students complete satisfaction. If the University really wants to satisfy students, instead of applying a few paint jobs and re-naming a couple of eating stations, they should try putting money back into our pockets by making food more affordable. Yes, they’ve made some definite improvements, and tidied the cafeterias up a bit. But there is still a feeling of disappointment amongst students.

Why not make the food a little bit more affordable? It’s good to see that Chartwells is honoring the same prices that Sodexho had in order to transition smoothly. But why not reduce prices next year? It’s one thing to improve quality – but even more importantly for the financially-burdened students at St. John’s – dining must be as affordable as possible. Most prices in Marillac are fair, but the bite you can grab on your way to class is an over-priced slice of pizza. There has never been a long wait for pizza because most students wouldn’t invest three dollars and change into once slice unless they were really craving it.

Though many would be pleased with the polished Montgoris and Marillac, some students are not impressed. “They made everything look pretty, the food is a little more fresh, but everything is pretty much still the same,” said freshman Jared Moret, referring to the the new Montgoris. Although Montgoris has certainly stepped its game up, it may require even more modifications, which Chartwells can hopefully provide in the near future.

The biggest complaints students have about St. John’s, aside from financial aid, is the dining at Marillac and Montgoris, especially after the series of failed health inspections last semester. So it’s easy to understand why of all times, the University chose now as the time to upgrade. Their efforts are very much appreciated, but not enough has changed yet to truly gauge how successful it will be. Let’s hope the future will hold even more affordable dining, so students can enjoy the higher quality at a lower price.