Students reflect on their satisfaction with dining hall food for the 2020-2021 year

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McMahon dining hall is one of several dining halls open for students this semester. A survey was sent out to students by The Daily Campus to gauge opinions regarding on-campus dining compared to previous years. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus

Twenty-one University of Connecticut students — 12 in their second year, eight in their third and one in their fourth — answered a Daily Campus survey about their opinions regarding on-campus dining in comparison to previous years. 

Students were asked about their favorite dining hall before COVID-19. Of the available choices, Whitney received the most votes with five. Following this, South and Putnam received four votes each and Towers received three. 

Juliette Grossman Smisek, a fourth-semester journalism major, said Whitney was her favorite dining hall before COVID-19 because of the various options it offered. She cited diverse vegetarian options and customization as two of the dining hall’s strengths. 

“Whitney had lots of vegetarian and fresh options and great customization because of the pasta bars, mac and cheese bars, etc.,” Grossman Smisek said. 

Following this, students were asked about their favorite dining halls during COVID-19. Topping the results were seven responses that indicated no strong preference, six that gave preference for South and four votes for Putnam. 

Grossman Smisek was the only student who voted for North, and she said it was because it was the only dining hall that consistently served food she enjoyed. She said she was at times happy to be in quarantine because she was then allowed to go to North. 

“Fall semester, before [North] turned into quarantine dining, it was my only go-to living at busby, and I was happy to be in quarantine just because of getting to eat there instead of having to go to northwest.”

Juliette Grossman Smisek, fourth-semester journalism major

“I can’t go to North because it’s quarantine only, but it’s the only dining hall with consistently good options,” Grossman Smisek said. “Fall semester, before it turned into quarantine dining, it was my only go-to living at Busby, and I was happy to be in quarantine just because of getting to eat there instead of having to go to Northwest.” 

To conclude the survey, the students were asked to rate their experience with dining halls in comparison to previous years from significantly better to significantly worse. Of the 21 respondents, 10 said the food was slightly worse than in previous years, 10 said it was significantly worse, and one student gave no response because of their move to off-campus housing. 

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