Dining Services needs to focus on students

Staff Editorial

No matter which university you attend, odds are you’ve got some beef about the food service provided for you. Likewise, NMU Dining Services is often the target of an excessive amount of student complaints.

Lately, criticism has evolved beyond the quality of the food provided at locations such as the Marketplace and the Wildcat Den. The increase in the price of meal plans and the decreased operating hours at the dining facilities have sent some students to bed without supper.

Recently, Dining Services has given students more food options by opening new locations in the past few months.

With Temaki & Tea and Smoothie King at an off-campus location, it caters more to the community than Temaki did while in its Hedgcock location. This expansion is positive for students that live off-campus in the city of Marquette, but it comes at the expense of students living in the dorms.

What NMU Dining Services needs to remember is that they are not an independent business. Independent businesses don’t have a customer base that is required to purchase their product.

Dining Services is here first and foremost to provide a necessary service to NMU students who are required to live in the residence halls for their first two years. Funds are tight everywhere, but by opening two new locations, we question whether or not Dining Services is spending their money appropriately.

Contrary to popular belief, however, students do have the opportunity to make their voices heard by the university. NMU frequently holds forums for students to voice their opinions about changes to the university, but attendance has been insignificant in the past.

While it may be a good way to relieve some stress, student complaints about Dining Services are unlikely to bring about change when they exist only in Facebook or North Wind shout outs. Students need to take action.
Take advantage of upcoming events such as the Food Advisory Board meeting on Oct. 8 and a “Let’s Chat” session with Dining Services on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in the Den. It’s apparent that students have opinions, but they need to take advantage of opportunities to be heard.

Dining Services is guaranteed income from students in the residence halls who are forced to buy into a meal plan. At $2,032 a semester for a constant meal pass, NMU students deserve to get their money’s worth.