September 10, 2012 : By Drew Menard
Liberty University is currently ranked in the top 20 for “Best Cafeteria Variety” by CollegeProwler.com, an online college database that uses student input to rank nearly 7,000 schools nationwide.
|Students enjoy a variety of options, including a salad bar, at the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall.|
“Serving students a wide variety of high-quality foods in our dining hall is of paramount importance to us, and it is quite rewarding to see our efforts paying off in such a tangible way,” said Julie Pfeifer, marketing manager for Sodexo, Liberty’s Dining Services provider.
CollegeProwler.com is an online interactive website with more than 200,000 student reviews ranking everything from academics to athletics. The data is compiled from several sources including student surveys, school administrators, government databases, and student authors.
In the “Best Cafeteria Variety” category, more than 1,200 schools were rated “by students for students,” putting Liberty in the top 1 percent.
Pfeifer said Sodexo is always striving to improve the campus dining experience by including student input through a student board of directors, student promotions coordinators, and a “secret shoppers” program.
“From these programs we glean actionable data to make responsible and well-informed decisions in regard to the dining hall,” Pfiefer said.
In Reber-Thomas Dining Hall there are 10 different dining stations, from traditional burgers and homestyle favorites, to Tex/Mex and Italian specialties, to an expansive soup and salad bar.
Recently, “Simple Servings,” a gluten- and other common allergen-free station, was added to serve balanced dishes for students with diet restrictions.
Reber-Thomas Dining Hall also hosts several themed nights throughout the academic year to offer variety, such as a Welcome Back ‘80s Party, Hispanic Heritage celebration, and a Fall Harvest Party.
|A new Chick-fil-A Express location, managed by Sodexo, in the Tilley Student Center, is one of the many dining options offered at Liberty.|
In addition to Reber-Thomas Dining Hall, Liberty offers nearly 15 different dining options around campus, including Sub Connection, Doc’s Diner, Bistro 71, and the Hangar.
Sodexo allows student input with their “Favorites from Home” selection, where students can submit recipes that a committee of students and professional chefs review and select to serve.
“The ultimate goal is to create an environment in which students feel comfortable congregating, dining and forming relationships, all over a really great meal,” Pfeifer said.
Junior Amber MacKenzie said she eats at several different locations on campus throughout the week.
“I love the variety that we can choose from with Liberty dining. There are so many good options,” she said.