Dining halls prepare for themed meals

Scotty Gilkey, Contributing Writer

Eastern’s dining halls “keep things fresh” with celebratory meals for holidays according to Gail Abrams-Aungst, associate director of Housing and Dining.

Abrams-Aungst said these celebrations keep students excited and engaged.

Director of Housing and Dining, Mark Hudson, said every two years, the office conducts a 175-question survey for students. Some of the questions are about student’s experience with the dining halls and what they like best.

“They give us suggestions, as well saying the things they would like to see more of, which is great,” Hudson said. “We really try to listen to our customers’ suggestions closely.”

Both Hudson and Abrams-Aungst said planning themed meals are worth the extra time they have to put in and keep students out of routine and from getting bored of the same food each week.

“The most hit spot on Eastern’s website is the dining menu. Students will visit this page multiple times a day to figure out what’s going to be for breakfast, lunch or dinner,” Hudson said.

Workers in the dining halls take extra time to set up the props and prepare the food. The marketing team makes sure to get the word out months before the holiday special starts.

Hudson said students look forward to the holiday food because it gives a sense of a home cooked meal.

“It’s great for visiting new buildings other than the one you’re already at. I definitely think (students) look forward to it,” Hudson said.

One part of themed meal events on campus are Jell-O molds and cookie shapes for different holidays.

The most recent event held was for St. Patrick’s Day in Taylor Hall, where they served corned beef. Next up is the Jimmy Buffett dinner from 4:30 to 8 p.m. March 21 in Taylor Hall. They will be serving non-alcoholic margaritas.

Housing and Dining will be a part of the Spring Job Fair on March 21 and 22 in Booth Library from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Scotty Gilkey can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].