Students reflect on a semester of Butler dining

Students express need for expanded dining hall hours and better quality food selections. Photo by Julian Cirnigliaro. 

EMMA CHAMLEY | STAFF REPORTER | echamley@butler.edu 

As the year comes to an end, students look back on the fall semester of Butler dining. Although some of the COVID-19 precautions have been lessened, the pandemic is continuing to impact dining at Butler this semester, through staff and food selection shortages. 

Butler’s dietitian, Katy Maher, focuses on allergy and health awareness surrounding food. In an email to The Butler Collegian, Maher said that COVID-19 has impacted Bon Appetit and what ingredients are able to be used in the various dining locations. 

“Beyond the health crisis caused by COVID-19, we have experienced impacts on the supply chain and labor market that are being felt nationwide,” Maher said. “In particular, we have been working hard to combat supply shortages by sourcing appropriate alternative products and securing adequate supplies in advance.” 

Atherton is currently open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and a late breakfast, brunch and dinner at different times on the weekends. 

Junior marketing major, Ben Hutchinson, said he wants Atherton to be open for longer during midday to accommodate students like him with busy class schedules. 

“I really wish they would have lunch a little bit longer, because I have two classes in the middle of the afternoon, pretty much in the midday, so I can’t really get lunch there,” Hutchinson said. “I have to go somewhere else like Plum or something like that, but when I try to go to Plum they’re out of what I want to get. That’s the conundrum I have run into.” 

Students who have busy schedules, like Hutchinson, do have a few other options, including Plum Market, which is open from everyday until midnight, and Resco, which is open for lunch on weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

First-year music performance major, Ryan Wombles, said Resco is his favorite spot to eat on campus, and he wishes all dining options had longer hours. 

“In terms of dining hall hours, I wish that breakfast was longer at [Atherton] because that’s like the only place on campus to get an actual breakfast,” Wombles said. “I also wish Resco was open for more than three random hours in the middle of the day because it’s pretty good and I would totally go there for dinner.” 

Wombles added that he thinks the food at Atherton has decreased in quality since the beginning of the semester. 

“I don’t know why or how but I feel like the food has gotten worse since fall break,” Wombles said. “They always make such random food that isn’t that good, like why can’t they just focus on something simple like grilled cheese or pasta.”

Ben Hutchinson also said simpler meals would make eating at Atherton a more pleasant experience. 

“[Atherton] should stop trying to do too much and just start to do more simple foods like something as simple as doing pasta more than once a week would be beneficial, or just doing simple dishes more often,” Hutchinson said. “Because they definitely try to go overboard sometimes.” 

Maher said in an email to The Butler Collegian, that if students have complaints about dining on campus, they have more than one way to reach out. 

“Students may speak to a chef or manager when issues arise in real time – which allows us to manage situations in the moment,” Maher said. Students can also communicate with dining services via their text app, Zingle, via phone at 317-343-8411, or via email at food@butler.edu. Butler dining services’ website also has a section entitled “Tell Us What You Think” where students can express concerns and give feedback. 

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