by Sheldon Schenck – Staff Writer – firstname.lastname@example.org
UNC Asheville Dining Services now provides more diverse and healthy eating options on campus.
UNCA now serves Rosetta’s Kitchen in the Sherrill Center, in addition to new options in Highsmith Union and The Down Under in Overlook Hall.
Senior director of dining services, Emily R. Williams, focused on pleasing the campus community while supporting the local economy.
“Our main concern for the future is sustainability, incorporating as much organic food as we can and supporting the local economy by using local foods,” Williams said. “We offer what we hope to be something for everybody.”
The new dining options offered on campus came as a result of a student and faculty survey from the 2011-2012 school year.
Students were asked which vendors they would like to see on campus.
The locally owned Rosetta’s Kitchen was selected rather than the various fast-food options.
The Rosetta’s menu on campus mirrors that of their location on North Lexington. The menu centers around vegetarian, vegan and organic foods.
“It’s pretty much 85 precent the same menu. We don’t have a fryer at the Wellness Cafe, so it’s a little more focused on nutrition,” said Star Buan, ower of Rosetta’s. “We don’t offer chips. We offer slaw or carrots and celery sticks as a side. We often describe our food as ‘homestyle comfort food.’”
In addition to the new Rosetta’s on campus, The Down Under opened on the ground level of the new resident hall, Overlook. The Down Under serves a variety of options and remains open until 2 a.m. throughout the majority of the week.
Rachel Collman, a sophmore political science student, feels good about the new options on campus this year.
“I have seen improvements in the cafeteria through the options of healthier foods,” Collman said. “Nutrition information has been added to each food’s label, and there have been more fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Rosetta’s Kitchen is also popular among students on-campus because it is local.
“The addition of Rosetta’s in the Wellness Cafe has brought a great local restaurant to campus,” Collman said.
The idea of a local business being present on campus has been favorable to students.
“Even people who aren’t vegetarian or vegan say they’re really happy to have a local and sustainable option,” Buan said. “It feels good to be there.”
Students show more satisfaction in overall menu options on campus.
Megan Goetzl, a freshman, was impressed with on-campus dining when she arrived at UNCA.
“I knew (UNCA) had lots of options and a lot of healthy options too,” Goetzl said. “They always have something I like to eat. I can’t think of any options I wish they had because whenever I do think of one, they always seem to have it out the next day.”
Students have expressed a content for the dining options offered, but some still are unsatisfied with other issues related to on-campus dining.
UNCA senior and SGA member Richard Stanley would like to see more affordable prices on campus in addition to a variety of food options.
“I’ve personally experienced students that aren’t eating anything because they’ve run out of ‘Munch Money’ and meals at the dining hall, which is unacceptable at a university,” Stanley said.
Stanley said though many positive changes have been made with regards to on-campus dining, there still exists great room for improvement.
“There are a few changes that bother me, such as greatly limiting the ‘unlimited’ plan as well as other plans when it comes to the Highsmith food court,” Stanley said. “I think there are a lot of improvements to be made, but with what I pay for my meal plan, I’m content.”
Not only are students excited about the new local and healthy options, the businesses involved are as well.
“We owe gratitude to Emily Williams and Chartwells for being brave and experimenting with a local business,” Buan said. “For them to say, ‘Ok the students want this, so let’s try it,’ and not just try it, but be friendly and help us through everything, has made this a pretty pleasant ride for everyone.”