To kick off the new school year, the Student Union and Ottawa East dining halls have been updated in many ways to introduce a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Gary Casteel, resident district manager of The University of Toledo Dining and Hospitality Services, said the previous setup made it difficult for guests and students to navigate.
“The new design makes better use of the space and will help with traffic flow,” Casteel said. “Stations have been redesigned to provide quicker service and an enhanced experience.”
Students can also expect to see an additional station in Ottawa East, to provide more options for students with food allergies.
"I really appreciate the stations for specific food allergies,” said Taylor Burchfield, second-year communication student. “I have to worry about cross contamination all the time because I am allergic to tree nuts. It allows me to eat without worry.”
The dining halls have also been given a new look.
“Both Ottawa East and the Student Union have new seating arrangements and décor that are welcoming and give the guest a restaurant experience,” Casteel said.
The meal plans have been updated as well to include a five-day and seven-day All Access Dining Plan, said Casteel.
“With either of those plans you may visit the Student Union and Ottawa East as many times as you wish throughout the day,” Casteel said. “The five-day plan is Monday-Friday and the seven-day plan is Sunday-Saturday.”
Despite rumors, students who purchase a meal plan can still swipe for guests.
Both All Access meal plans come with five “extra” swipes. These swipes can be used for guests, carry out, or a meal exchange at acceptable locations.
"I think it’s crazy we can’t use our regular meal swipes for carry out. I’m too busy to sit in the dining hall most days,” Burchfield said.
The locations that accept meal swipes are Agave, Croutonz, Freshens Food Studio at the North Engineering building and the convenience stores on campus.
Casteel said the Carter Hall Market will be open this year. Also, Phoenicia will be relocating to Rocky’s Attic.
“Construction for Phoenicia is near completion, and it should open soon after all inspections are complete,” he said. “We will communicate to the university community when we have the open date.”