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Campus Dining brings in consultant, addresses wants and needs of students

Kristen Burgess, Staff Writer

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Many argue that a common experience at UNC Wilmington is to wait in line at Hawks Nest, trying to get the perfect Chick-fil-A sandwich, only to have to turn around, defeated and empty-handed, because the line was too long. Similarly, nursing students, stuck in clinicals all day, claim to have no time on their lunch breaks to beat the swarm of students getting out of class.

Many students at UNC Wilmington have become frustrated as a result of struggles just like these. Students have complained about Hawks Nest’s lines being too long to go to in between class, and they also have argued that too many dining options are focused on the side of campus closest to College Road, among other frustrations.

In response, UNCW Campus Dining is attempting to resolve these issues. They recently hired a dining consultant to address student opinions that will be compiled and used to add another dining venue to campus.

Sharon Boyd, Associate Vice Chancellor of Business Services, comments on some of these frustrations, saying, “We are very excited about The Hub [a new dining/social gathering facility in construction] coming to campus. We want to wait and see how that is going to work before making plans for another dining venue.”

Boyd and her team, with the help of the dining consultant, have been trying to gauge student satisfaction with Wag Out and other Campus Dining venues.

Earlier in the semester, news was recently released by Campus Dining that Wag Out will, due to a range of issues, be closed and replaced by a different option.

Evidently, students respond better to names that are more familiar to them. More often than not, the most foot traffic from rush times on campus is coming from places like Chick-fil-A and Subway.

Austin Thomasmeyer, a Resident Assistant at Graham-Hewlett Hall, said, “Residents want to go somewhere that they know the name.”

The addition of a Which Wich?–something Campus Dining is considering–would attract more students away from the Hawks Nest side of campus and draw more attention to the Shops at Crossing.

The dining consultant is scheduled to come the week of April 3. In 2013, UNCW was able to utilize his help in a 2013 Request for Proposal with Campus Dining. Pleased with the help that he were able to provide the university on this past project, Business Services forecasts that Campus Dining will benefit from the upcoming changes. The primary task at hand for this consultant is to discover student wants and needs for a new dining hall on campus.

Boyd acknowledges the enthusiasm that students have for Wag Out. From data that cashier machines log, UNCW is able to see that many students utilize Wag Out.

The issue is that the cashier logs are not able to determine is why students hold such affection for the break-off wing to Wagoner Hall.

Thomasmeyer said, “Wag Out is a big deal to freshmen and sophomores living with meal plans because it is their only late night option on campus.”

The late night option for campus food is ideal for students with on-campus jobs like Thomasmeyer. Acknowledging this, Boyd believes some brainstorming should take place before setting in stone new plans for campus dining.

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The news site of UNC Wilmington
Campus Dining brings in consultant, addresses wants and needs of students