Summer dining changes prepare students for the fall


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Union Drive Marketplace opened a new venue in its dining center in January called “Simple Plate.” “Simple Plate” aims to create simple, international cuisine dishes so they are readily available to students.

Lauren Lee

Iowa State will close all dining facilities on campus except for UDCC on May 18 because of the significantly reduced student and staff population. However, some changes will be made before the fall. ISU Dining services exist to serve students better in all their dietary and nutritional needs, and appreciate student feedback.

UDM will be the only dining center consistently open and available to students during the summer. 

“During the summer we have a little different menu, which will be fairly similar to last summer, with the additions of Simple Plate and hot sandwiches offered at the deli. Last summer we didn’t have our toaster oven, so that will be a change too,” said Jenni Ross, manager for campus dining services.

A reconstruction project will take place at the Hub but it will stay open during the summer. “We’re not making any structural changes, opening any new locations or anything like that. We use the summer to operate locations, refine our recipes and plan new menus for fall,” said Brittney Rutherford, marketing coordinator for ISU Dining.

Menus will change for the summer, so students will find new options at UDM. However, holidays and special events won’t take place at UDM during the summer.

“Our chefs will be working on new recipes for Simple Plate, which will be different, as Simple Plate will be open and it wasn’t last summer,” Ross said.

Simple Plate is a new venue establishment that was opened in January and offers simple, portion controlled servings that are high in nutritional value.

“Make sure everyone is staying hydrated and limiting caffeinated beverages, as they make you dehydrated,” said Lisa Nolting, program coordinator and registered dietician for campus dining services. 

Sometimes in the summer it can be easy to consume more carbonated and caffeinated beverages as students tend to need more fluids to stay hydrated. However, making sure students are staying hydrated with limited caffeinated beverages is important for students to stay healthy.

“We rely heavily on student feedback for changes,” Rutherford said.

Two-way communication with students allows dining center services to make changes and improvements needed in their facilities 

“We really listen to students and really want their feedback. Students should provide more of that feedback by emailing or calling and contacting us, as we’re always here, always listening and happy to talk to students about their needs,” Rutherford said.

Many students, especially freshmen, aren’t aware of all their meal plans can do for them and staff at the dining centers want to help students as much as possible.

“A service might exist that meets their need, but they might not know about it,” Rutherford said.

The dining services can provide the best service to students when students give useful feedback about their venues, food quality, atmosphere and anything they would like to see changed or improved. Students can also help one another by sharing their dining experiences and discussing how to best use meal plans in healthy ways.

“We really are here to serve students that are on campus for summer school as well as serve summer camps and conferences that come through. Our job in communicating with students is that they understand how to use their meal plan most effectively,” Rutherford said.