New Dining Center

August  22, 2013

     A restaurant and not a cafeteria - that was the goal at Augustana College when it designed a new "dining center" as part of the new Center for Student Life. And as students begin returning to campus for the beginning of a new academic year, they'll notice a huge difference from last year.

     Director of Dining, Gary Griffith, says the dining center has seven preparation and serving areas, called "marches" (mar-shaze). They feature pizza, carved beef and pork, baked goods, breakfast, and even vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. But just as important - no trays, no paper except for napkins, and square plates and bowls.

     "We were very specific for the items we bought. We wanted to be different. We didn't want just the normal, round standard plates. We wanted something that would really blend with the colors of our operation."

     And the early reviews, by students, are very good. Griffith says this week a student came to the new dining center and doubled his meal plan, buying 19 meals a week instead of just 10.

     "Number one, because he experienced the food. But also I think he saw this would be a perfect area for taking the time, for fellowship with other students. There will be students in here studying and relaxing - it'll be a great area."

     The real test of the new dining center at Augustana begins on Monday when classes begin. It'll be open 14 hours a day and seats more than 700.