DU reacts to dining, meal plan changes

Kaye Burnet | The Duquesne Duke The former Coffee Tree Roasters in Rockwell Hall no longer offers paninis, but students and faculty can still choose from a number of on-the-go meals.

Kaye Burnet | The Duquesne Duke
The former Coffee Tree Roasters in Rockwell Hall no longer offers paninis, but students and faculty can still choose from a number of on-the-go meals.

By Kayla Casavant | The Duquesne Duke

“Is it really necessary to have three Starbucks on campus?” asked Paige Tinney, a business school senior.

Tinney is just one of several students and faculty puzzled by the transformation of the former Coffee Tree Roasters in the bottom of Rockwell Hall to a Campus Market that sells Starbucks brand coffee.

This is just one of several changes the university and Parkhurst Dining made to Duquesne’s dining facilities over the summer.

In anticipation of its third academic year on campus, Parkhurst management expanded the hours at Campus Market in Duquesne Towers. It will remain open until 2 a.m. every night, instead of 10 p.m., according to Dave Manz, district manager for Duquesne Dining.

“We wanted to provide a late night option for students in a centralized location that had a broad variety of snacks and beverages,” Manz said.

In addition to extended hours, the Campus Market will now offer fresh “Late Night Cookies” from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. The cookies are being sold at $1.99 each.

The all-you-can-eat Rev. Sean Hogan Dining Hall now offers new items at the pizza bar, which has been rebranded “The Oven,” according to Manz. It will offer a wider variety of options such as calzones, stromboli and baked pasta.

The dining hall’s vegetarian selection is larger and there is a new noodle bar.

“The updates and changes we’ve made provide enhanced services, better meet student needs and add both variety and freshness to the students’ dining experience,” Manz said.

There is also a new tool available that might help students budget their Flex dollars and meal swipes this semester — an online portal to check balances and alter meal plans. Meal plan holders can log on via the Duquesne Dining website or on the free app “Blackboard eAccounts.”

Katie Rhone, a second year physical therapy student, and her roommate Rachel Strickland said they will use the new feature.

“I think it’s great,” Strickland said. “I never knew what my balance was.”

However, not all new policies are popular. John Yakim, 19, a sophomore finance and economics major, is upset by the Late Night schedule scaleback. The dining option at Towers now closes at midnight instead of 1 a.m., which Yakim calls “a problem.”

Manz said the hour from midnight to 1 a.m. was one of the slowest dining periods on campus.

“By making the change in Towers, we were able to extend the hours of the Campus Market, which is now open until 2 a.m., seven days a week,” Manz said.

Yakim also thinks the Hogan Dining Hall needs longer daytime hours.

“It’s such a condensed time frame,” Yakim said. “When I sleep before work or go to the gym at night it’s hard to meet the schedule.”

The Options food court located on the sixth floor of the Student Union underwent remodeling over the summer, according to Mark Minoski, director of design and construction for Duquesne’s Facilities Management.

Minoski called the renovations “high on the capital wishlist.”

“It’s been on the list for a few years now,” Manz said. “It was a priority.”

Facilities Management declined to share how much the renovation cost.

The new market in Rockwell Hall closely resembles the Campus Market in Towers. It previously sold paninis, pastries and specialty coffee, and now offers some hot food items, refrigerated foods such as sushi and on-the-go salads and packaged foods, including hot sauce, Oreos and instant macaroni and cheese.

A package of 30 Red Solo cups costs $7.00 and a jar of peanut butter is $5.00, which is similar to prices in the Towers Campus Market.

“We’ll continue to update the offerings as we learn from students what they want to see in the market,” Manz said.

Minoski said that the Rockwell Market was a big project for Facilities Management this summer, but declined to share the cost of the project.

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