New school year, new dining options

As the fall semester begins, Liberty University students can expect a lot of new changes. Some of these changes include updates to the dining options on campus. 

These dining option changes include the replacement of South Street Cheesesteaks, located at Green Hall, with The Hungry Herbivore. The Hungry Herbivore is a new plant-based and gluten-free food option that will be distinct from the rest of the restaurants in the Tilley Student Center.

Duke Davis, the district manager of Liberty Dining, said that based on survey data, students requested a gluten-free and vegetarian option. 

“We made a gluten-free, vegetarian (and) vegan concept that will cater to all the students who have gluten allergies and also are vegetarians … A lot of students who have the meal swipes and meal plans (are) not able to swipe at a lot of places because we don’t have enough gluten-free and vegetarian options for them on campus,” Davis said. “So we thought, now is the time to give them their own go-to spot.” 

Although some students were sad to see the South Street Cheesesteaks location go, Davis confirmed that cheesesteaks will be available periodically at the Mongolian Grill at the Food Court at Reber-Thomas.

These dining changes also bring more breakfast options to Green Hall. SubConnection will now offer breakfast items on its menu. Also, Natural!, which previously sold smoothies, has been converted to The Nook. 

“We’ve added another breakfast option next door to Dunkin Donuts that used to be Natural! smoothies because last year we opened Shake Smart right after spring break … so that left a hole in Tilley,” Davis said. “So, we filled it with a concept called The Nook that’ll feature breakfast bowls and yogurt grain bowls for breakfast time into lunch.” 

Along with these changes, The Grid located in DeMoss and Simply-to-Go located in the School of Business will now have an automated espresso and iced coffee machine. Additionally, at certain dining locations on campus, the drink machines will have automatic lid sealers. 

Liberty University senior Jada Jackson is most excited for the automatic lid sealers. 

“A lot of people just throw those cups and lids on the floor,” Jackson said. “But I’m also excited for breakfast at SubCo because I love breakfast sandwiches, and I think these new changes will just encourage students to go to different dining options on campus because a lot of people just stick to their own routine. So, I think these changes will allow students to experience different parts of the campus that they might not have gone to otherwise.”

The two existing meal plans for students will remain the same. One option for students is the basic swipe meal plan in which they receive swipes at certain locations on campus. The other existing dining option is the plus swipe meal plan in which students can receive additional exclusive items on the menus at various meal locations on campus. In previous semesters, all residential students were required to obtain a meal plan. However, starting this fall semester, it is now optional for students who live in the Residential Annex to have a meal plan.

“We just continue to take suggestions from students and make notes of comments that are consistent with the student body,” Davis said. “And then we decide to make changes to give more variety and change things up.” 

SCOTT is a news reporter.

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