Among the changes that come with a new semester, students may have noticed a few at the Westlawn Dining Hall. There are now coffee pots by the milk station, planned special events, and new menu items and food choices.These changes were made in response to the surveys conducted by AVI and Student Life last semester.
“We got about 600 responses and they were mostly positive responses,” said Bill Born, vice president of student life.
From these surveys, AVI and Student Life worked together to determine which changes would be made for the next semester and upcoming year. For example, respondents commented that the drink station was far from much of the cafeteria, so AVI is in the process of providing more drink options on the opposite side of the cafeteria from the drink station. Along with the coffee pots by the milk station, they also plan on putting purified water with fresh flavoring options nearby.
Aside from addressing the layout difficulties of the dining hall, AVI is also adding new menu options and food choices. There are now more organic cereal options and there will be two whole grain salad options at the salad bar.
One of the new menu items, vegetarian curry pizza, received lots of comments last week when it was first served.
“Normally, we get 15 comment cards a day, but that one day we got 18 cards about that pizza with suggestions on how to make it even better,” said Bob Rombach, director of AVI food services at Goshen College.
These comment cards enable Rombach to hear the opinions and suggestions of the college community so that he can tailor the services that AVI offers.
“At AVI, our business model is designed to custom design the account to the taste of the constituents,” said Rombach.
Part of customizing the account is identifying and catering to any special needs from the customers. Rombach and the chefs have been working at expanding the gluten-free options for people who must follow a strict diet due to allergies.
The improvements to AVI do not stop at the foods offered, but goes deeper as they seek to become more involved with the college community through various events throughout the semester. Their first event will be a pie-eating contest today at 5:30pm.
Later in the month, AVI is planning for a meal that will feature some “all-American” foods, like ribs and apple pie, but also will showcase some international dishes that recognize the diversity of the United States.
“We don’t just want to be known for preparing food three times a day, but we also want to be part of the community,” said Rombach.