Students can expect changes to Campus Dining to begin the 2018-2019 academic year, including new on-campus locations, an increase in dietary options, compostable straws, and an increase in meal swipe options.
“Each year Campus Dining performs a survey that is open to the entire campus,” Cal Poly Corporation Communications Specialist Aaron Lambert said. “That feedback is taken and presented to an advisory committee that includes students, staff, faculty as well as Campus Dining’s registered dietitian and executive chefs. The chefs and dietitian then use that information, along with research into national dining and health trends, as they plan for the future.”
Village Market is moving into a larger space in Poly Canyon Village (PCV), and is in its final stages of renovation. The market will now be located across the plaza in the space previously occupied by Einstein Bros. Bagels. A smaller footprint of the popular bagel spot will be located inside the market, and it will still feature a full menu.
These changes come in response to widespread student feedback and requests for more convenience and grocery items at PCV.
Mechanical engineering senior Brendon Morey has lived in PCV since his freshman year. He said he looks forward to having more grocery options but remains skeptical about how affordable the market place will be for students.
“It’s nice that there will be another place around the size of Campus Market,” Morey said. “But even if they do include more grocery items, the prices are likely to be too high.”
The opening of Village Market has been delayed to accommodate the remodeling of Einstein Bros., but it is expected to be ready within the next week.
The opening of the new Vista Grande dining complex on Grand Avenue has been delayed a year after construction started nine months late. The new restaurants are replacing the old complex which closed in summer 2016, doubling the amount of venues.
Vegan & vegetarian options
Campus Dining has been working to increase options for students with dietary restrictions, including a dedicated window for plant-based students at 805 Kitchen.
“There will be an increase in the vegan and vegetarian options this year,” Lambert said. “A dedicated vegan and vegetarian window at 805 Kitchen opened with the academic year. This complements the growing number of vegan and vegetarian options at all Campus Dining venues.”
Additionally, the dining program underwent a gluten free audit this summer and received GREAT Schools accreditation for the 2018-2020 term for its Gluten Free program. The campus was commended by the National Celiac Awareness Association for being a model and leader for gluten-free programs in the campus dining segment.
“Campus Dining’s reaccreditation as a Beyond Celiac Great School keeps us in a very prestigious group among university dining operations nationwide,” Lambert said. “It reaffirms our belief in the innovative work, research and planning that the Campus Dining team does to stay on trend and ensure that we are offering tasty, healthful, nutrient rich options to all students.”
Cal Poly’s Registered Dietician, Kaitlin Gibbons, is also available to meet one-on-one with any student needing assistance.
Meal credits return
Plus Dollars were heavily reduced in favor of meal credits as Campus Dining adds choices to meal plans. Instead of a mandatory 1,400 Plus Dollars per quarter, or money used exclusively at campus restaurants, new freshmen dining plans have a combination of credits used to purchase predetermined meals and Plus Dollars.
Freshmen can pick from three plans, ranging from 180 meal credit to exclusively Plus Dollars. Transfer and continuing students have less expensive plans with less credits and Plus Dollars.
The catch? Meal swipes do not roll over after the end of the quarter, while the reduced Plus Dollars still do. This means freshmen and transfer students must use their credits before the quarter ends.
There will be two or more meal swipe options at every Campus Dining location with the exception of Starbucks, Yogurt Creations, Shake Smart, Lucy’s, Jamba Juice, and Julian’s.
Students will be given the option to change meal plans if they are unsatisfied with their initial plan after Fall 2018. Campus Dining says they will monitor the new changes and potentially offer more meal options later in the year.