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Dining hall improvements at the end of the year

(Photo courtesy of: UMass Lowell) “South Dining is the only option for South Campus students.”

Riley Fontana
Connector Editor

We are at the tail end of the year which usually means random food is hitting the dining hall as they try to use up their stock. This year is very different as they are unveiling new technology in each dining hall weeks before the end of the semester. Fox Hall was given cold brew on tap and South Dining got a smoothie station and a Bevi machine.

Now, I can only speak for the new improvements to South Dining as Fox Hall is too far to travel for a meal. The smoothie station is definitely the highlight of the two new machines. It offers a large selection of frozen fruits, yogurt and juice to put into a cup and mix it all up for a custom treat. We are still definitely in the learning phases of this machine because many students have found themselves with a half-blended drink from overfilling their cups. There are a few instruction sheets at the station but a diagram of how full a cup can be would really help students.

As for the Bevi machine, I am not the target audience. It makes flavored still water which is cool in theory. I tried the blueberry pomegranate flavor the day and it was okay. It tasted like watered-down Gatorade or Propel. Now this is a huge win for water lovers, especially with its added electrolytes. The ability to mix flavors and control the intensity of the flavor makes me interested in trying it out again the next time I’m grabbing lunch.

I am incredibly jealous that Fox got cold brew. During countless conversations with people about the dining halls Fox seems to be slightly better at everything, except the pizza. I cannot confirm or deny these claims as I am never on East Campus, but many people think Fox has more options and variety. One thing Fox is definitely winning at is having more seating.

I do not want this to turn into a comparison of dining halls, everyone is tired of that. I think the new additions to the dining halls are great, especially if they stay around longer than the tour groups. I do urge students to read the directions that come with these new technologies

because the last thing anyone wants is a smoothie blender fire. If the new additions are treated well, then they will continue to add things and improve the dining hall for everyone.

Overall UMass Lowell finally seems to be taking steps to improve their dining halls. Don’t get me wrong, they are still lacking in a lot of things: more options, a clearly communicated schedule of when food is available, late-night dining and more. The list of what they could be doing better goes on and on, but a few new machines definitely help a lot. I think this is a step in the right direction and I hope the dining halls actually get to become a place students want to eat, not a place they have too.

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