If you were to go around campus and ask 20 students what they think about Shippensburg’s dining services, you would likely get 20 different answers. It is a topic that many here at Ship seem to be passionate about, whether they are discussing the offerings at Reisner Dining Hall or the length of the Chick-Fil-A line. While first-year students may think the campus dining options are perfectly fine, many believe there has been a drop in quality compared to previous years.
As the primary dinner spot here on campus, Reisner is the location students seem to have the most criticism for, and it is similar here at The Slate. We do understand that there are currently both staffing & food supply shortages, but the downgrade in terms of overall appeal is strong, especially in terms of vegan/vegetarian options. There is only one or two vegan options per night, and the options they do have are lacking with some often not getting the proper protein or nutrients they need. Considering that many vegan-friendly options here on campus are closed for dinner and that some students don’t have the flex dollars needed to use these options, it makes the vegan offerings at Reisner all that more important to students.
Outside of vegan options, there are other noticeable changes, such as how there is more chicken-based meals compared to any other meat. When the same meats are offered repeatedly, it gradually becomes more unappealing for students. There is also a lack of fresh fruit offerings, especially compared to the choice of fresh vegetables with the salad bar. For those who much prefer fruit, their choices are slim, with fruits like strawberries & blueberries not being offered. While there may be issues with shortages for these, it still is odd how much of a gap there is in terms of fruit selections compared to vegetables.
The other dining services on campus haven’t changed much, but still have some issues. One that many have problems with is Starbucks not accepting meal swipes. As mentioned with the vegan offerings, not all students have flex dollars, which effectively takes Starbucks away as a dining option for some. One positive change is that Starbucks now accepts mobile orders and gift cards, a feature that was unavailable before this year. There are still places on campus that don’t take gift cards though, with Chick-Fil-A being an example. While the staff shortage is likely a factor for this, the lack of locations open for dinner is a hinderance. With Reisner & Burgers + Fries being the lone spots open after 5 p.m., there is a major lack of healthy, premium options for students at that time of day.
Overall, while the dining services here at Shippensburg are fine, they aren’t as good as they could be. There are things that could be upgraded throughout campus, and with the price of a meal swipe decreasing at all locations, we aren’t getting as much value.