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Union Commons Makeover Provides Value, Variety and Speed of Service Changes

STONY BROOK, NY, February 13, 2015 – Over intersession the Union Commons layout was reconfigured based on student input about the congestion and speed of service during peak hours. During the fall 2014 semester, the Student Voice Committee and the Residence Hall Association conducted outreach efforts to solicit feedback from students about improvements to the Union Commons.

The Student Voice Committee, which started last semester, is responsible for representing the student body and acting as a resource to gather student feedback, communicating changes to meal plan holders and providing recommendations in an effort to enhance the overall campus dining experience. The Residence Hall Association is a student advocacy organization that serves as a resource on campus to enrich residence life.

Joseph Abreu, student food server prepares Mexican cuisine at the newly expanded Picantes station at the Union Commons

Joseph Abreu, student food server prepares Mexican cuisine at the newly expanded Picantes station at the Union Commons

Campus Dining acted on these recommendations by doubling the size of the Picantes Mexican platform to minimize wait time and improve customers’ experiences. The menu was expanded to include new items such as crunchy shrimp tacos and crunchy shrimp mango salad.

Although their locations within the Union Commons have changed, old favorites have returned with more variety added to the menus at Native Spice international cuisine, Halal NY, UPick Salads and Green Street Café. Beef and chicken gyros are now available at Halal NY on Tuesdays and Thursdays and new toppings have been added to UPick, where salads are sold for one flat rate. Green Street Café offers fresh and tasty, home-style meals that are budget friendly and not just for vegetarians. Grab and Go options have been expanded to include more sushi and sandwich varieties.

Campus Dining has also made efforts to expand the breadth of healthy, affordable options at the Union Commons with the new Q Bowl. Starting Monday, customers can customize their Q Bowl at Green Street Café by selecting their choice of quinoa, vegetable toppings, plant based proteins and a flavorful sauce. Q Bowls will be offered once a week.

“Quinoa is a protein-rich superfood,” said Tina Tiernan, Campus Dining Registered Dietitian. “It’s the only grain that provides all nine of the essential amino acids. Quinoa also has many other nutrients including iron, fiber and antioxidants. It is also a great option for students avoiding gluten, as quinoa is naturally a gluten free food.”

The Student Voice Committee is preparing for the next Town Hall meeting on February 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Charles B. Wang Center, Room 201. “We want students to know that their opinions matter and these changes are a direct result of their feedback,” said Alexandra Smaldone, Mendelsohn Quad Student Representative.

Let your voice be heard and contact the  Student Voice committee

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