Commuters not eating on campus

Adria Barbour

Melissa Putich, sophomore nursing major, and Lauren Lukacek, junior art history major, wait on Raquel Grinnell, junior human developmental studies major, at the Eastway dining center on the second floor.

Credit: Adria Barbour

The university’s Dining Services is facing budget restraints, so they are looking for outside dollars.

Funding for Dining Services is self-generated: It only makes what students spend at the various food vendors on campus.

One solution discussed at the Student Quality Advisory Committee meeting Thursday was to increase the revenue brought in by commuter students.

There are more than 24,000 students attending Kent State and only 6,000 students have meal plans, said Eugene Walters, marketing manager for Dining Services.

Many students who commute don’t eat on campus.

Sophomore education major Anthony Roper said he doesn’t eat on campus much because of the limited variety of food served.

“I don’t know of too many entrees that they have. I was looking for more entree-oriented meals,” Roper said.

Andrea Spandonis, director of Dining Services, said a common complaint is that food is too expensive.

“People think we are rolling in dough,” Spandonis said.

Changes have taken place already to increase consumer spending. The Prentice Cafeteria has expanded, and Stewart Cafeteria has extended hours so students can eat longer during the day.

Last semester, Dining Services got a lot of complaints about Mein Bowl. So this semester, Dining Services has made improvements, Walters said.

“This semester, Mein Bowl serves everything made to order when you want it,” Walters said. “A lot of people like to complain, but won’t give it another chance.”

There is also a commuter student dining plan that was created last spring. Walters said it is the same as an upper-class dining plan and has $640 on it. A student could eat $8 a day for five days a week and the plan can last them all 15 weeks of a semester.

Contact student affairs reporter Adria Barbour at [email protected].