Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Students Somewhat Satisfied with Marshall Dining

Marshall Dining’s overall satisfaction rate is just below the national average, according to Marshall Dining’s Spring Satisfaction Survey.

“So, we ended up at a 3.7 versus the national average of like,schools in North American universities, which was a 3.8,” said Mark Arnold, the general manager of dining services, while looking at the survey’s results.

Marshall Dining conducts a survey each fall and spring to gauge students’ feelings about the campus’ dining options in the first eight weeks of the semester. Arnold said he felt the results for this semester were fair.

“With these surveys, you go through one verbatim that says, ‘Harless is gross, disgusting,’” he said, “and then the very next comment you read is someone saying, ‘I love the staff. They’re so wonderful. They really try to take care of us.’”

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“You get the full spectrum,” Arnold added.

With 120 responses this semester, students were generally satisfied with their wait times and food when partaking in the university’s dining options. 

Meanwhile, the most common complaints were a repetitive menu and a lack of options to address dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan. Students said they would also like to see healthier options overall.

“The typical request, always, with the survey is variety,” Arnold said. “Marshall’s a mid-size university – it’s not a huge university. For its size, believe it or not, it has a lot of options for the school.”

Dining Services has worked to improve the current options on campus, said the marketing and IT manager.

“Last spring, we used the survey to revamp Mein Bowl. So, it got much better reviews in the fall semester than it had in the previous semester because of the changes we made,” Christopher Estrada said. “So, this semester, we’ve taken the fall survey and made all these changes to 1837 to adjust it and make it better.”

This semester, the 1837 Market now includes a section dedicated to serving those with dietary restrictions, Arnold said.

Arnold also said they are constantly trying to sell new items in the 1837 Market to cater to students; just last week, the world’s hottest gummy bear and the chocolate scorpion both sold out in their first days on the shelves.

“College is generally where people like to try new things and do weird stuff anyway,” Estrada said. “So, challenging each other to do or eat something different is just par for the course at that age.”

In the coming semesters, Marshall Dining plans to remodel certain stations in Harless — like expanding the salad bar and Simple Servings. They would also like to add more late-night dining options.

Both Arnold and Estrada agreed student, faculty and staff feedback is the key to improving the university’s dining options.

“If you’re having a problem, and you’re not satisfied with the resolution that a supervisor or an employee is offering you, let me know,” Arnold said, “because I want to find out why they couldn’t resolve that for you and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

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