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ISSUE 118 VOL 4 PUBLISHED 10/8/2004

Stav cooks up mixed responses

By Sara Perelli-Minetti
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 8, 2004

After experiencing the new cafeteria changes for a month, many students have expressed frustration about a more crowded Stav Hall, but also excitement regarding the changes in cafeteria food.

It is not uncommon to see lines extending down the stairs and wrapping around past the Cage at lunchtime. Emily Lindo 07 said she has been frustrated by the long lunchtime lines.

"Its absolutely ridiculous to have to stand in a line for twenty minutes for a meal," she said. "The lines create traffic in Buntrock, especially around the P.O.s and the Cage."

Doug Stone 06 thinks that the crowd at dinner is due to students from the St. Olaf Band, Orchestra and Choir, which end rehearsal at 6 p.m. The ensembles alone send a flux of about 300 students to the cafeteria at once.

"People need to learn not to go to dinner when all the music groups get out," Stone said.

Some students have also expressed frustration at the crackdown on the cafeteria's policy of no outside containers.

While the cafeteria may appear to be more strict about preventing students from bringing in outside containers, Hays Atkins, manager of Bon Appétit, said that there have been no changes to the policy.

"There has always been a policy of no outside containers," Atkins said. "This year, we're just making students more informed."

While students are allowed to carry out a piece of whole fruit or a bagel, they cannot carry out any other food items.

"This is an all-you-can-eat format, not an all-you-can-carry-out format," Atkins said.

There are several other changes in Stav Hall, namely the new CookBook meal line and the Create Your Own Pasta line.

"The changes are not for the sake of changing," Executive Chef Peter Abrahamson said. "We wanted to cook smaller portions so the food is fresh and hot, and we wanted to provide more variety to students."

Abrahamson noted that the CookBook line and the Create Your Own Pasta line do just that.

The CookBook line, which replaces last years Tortilla Line, seems to be well-received by students.

Carl Holmquist 05 described the new line as "awesome."

While Mike Sweeney 05 mourns the loss of the Tortilla line, he agrees that the CookBook line has been a successful addition to dining at St. Olaf. He called it "the sequel to the Home line, observing it to be either "fantastic or disgusting."

Pam Kaercher 06 said that she "gave in to the CookBook line," and has been happy ever since.

The Create Your Own Pasta line has been successful so far, and has been extremely popular among students.

"I look forward every day to eating out of that line," Ross Fulton '05 said. "I love making my own pasta.

Once students realized that if they wanted plain noodles and sauce they did not have to wait in the Create Your Own Pasta line, Abrahamson noticed more positive feedback.

"I sat down with students for an hour last week and talked to them about the changes," he said. "Almost all the feedback regarding the new Pasta line was positive."

Christine Hanson 06 has had a mixed response to the changes in Stav Hall. "Im really frustrated by the long lines," she said. "It was a good move to add the CookBook line though. I like the option of creating my own pasta, but time makes it chaotic."

Students also appreciate the changes to the Pizza line. Rather than one variety of pizza, cheese, pepperoni and a special are offered every day.

While some glitches and complaints still need to be resolved, overall student response seems to be positive.

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