Dining Hall Changes: Progress and Plans

Zoe Alford '23, Staff Writer

There has been a recent buzz among Loomis Chaffee students about the reopening of the soft serve ice cream machine, salad bar, and self-serve system in the dining hall. These changes are byproducts of the collaborative efforts of Student Council and Flik Dining Services to bring back more amenities in the dining hall in response to the recent easing of COVID-19 protocols on-campus.
The Flik task group, composed of several Student Council representatives, is established yearly by the council in hopes of creating a more enjoyable dining hall experience for all members of the LC Community.
“I think the task group’s main endeavor is to communicate student concerns about dining hall options… and keep an open communication with [the dining staff] and help the dining hall provide a certain culinary experience, both in terms of hours and food variety that meet Loomis students’ needs the best,” Student Council Faculty Advisor Jackson Fleming said.
This year’s Flik task group, however, has come across new obstacles that previous groups haven’t encountered. All groups “have similar goals in mind,” Mr. Fleming said. “The slight difference… [is] the unique challenges this year as the dining hall transitions somewhat out of pandemic restrictions into more traditional circumstances and tries to balance a great dining hall experience while still maintaining safety.”
Current members of the task group work to voice the student body’s concerns during their meetings with COVID-19 Coordinator Mary Liscinsky and Flik Manager Keith Garfield. These concerns range from general food options to phasing out of COVID protocols in the dining hall.
“During our meetings, we raised inquiries from students that range from bringing back the self-serve dining hall experience to adding more non-dairy dessert options,” task group member Sandro Mocciolo ’23 said.
“One interesting thing we found from our conversation with Mr. Garfield was about the supply chain [shortage] that Flik dining is struggling with… The shortage of labor across the country is causing common ingredients that the dining hall uses to become less available, leading to immediate changes in the menu,” Sandro added.
Loomis prides itself on its concern for the environment. With complete return to normalcy in the dining hall drawing nearer, students have been keeping their environmental responsibilities in mind. Last year, for example, students worked with the E-Proctors to sort food and waste into compost and recycling bins.
This year, “students no longer have to go through the hassle of sorting food into the appropriate bins, but we are still composting. The school has instead adopted a composting system in the kitchen, so the Flik staff are able to sort food into composting bins.” Sandro said.