LaCasse Dining Center Welcomes Change

Rachel Chea

More stories from Rachel Chea

When students arrived on campus for a new school year, they were welcomed to a new and improved LaCasse Dining Center. Although these changes have been in the works for a while, over the summer the dining center received what students believe to be a much-needed makeover.

Many changes that students see today are a result of the focus groups held last spring, according to General Manager for Sodexo at Le Moyne, Jim Suriano.

“We hope to start what we’re calling a student board of directors — we’re trying to get 10 to 12 students to sit with us once a month to get feedback more readily,” said Suriano.

Some of the recent changes are subtle, while others are obvious. These include changes in the pizza dough recipe, small additions and changes to the salad bar, as well as the introduction of a new Simple Servings station.

Simple Servings was added as an allergy-free station to accommodate students who suffer from the top eight allergens such as soy, wheat, gluten, dairy, shellfish and nuts.

Another new feature is the Choose to Reuse program that was recently launched this week. This program, which does not replace or eliminate the simply to-go meals, allows you to buy a reusable to-go container and mug for $10.

“It’s designed to give you more variety, so that you know you’re getting what you like,” said Suriano. “You’re able to come into the dining hall and fill the container with whatever you want. You don’t have to have a sandwich that is pre-made; you can get a sandwich the way you want it. You can [even] get stir-fry or a slice of pizza.”

Something else that Suriano believes students will really enjoy are the extended brunch hours. Starting the weekend of Sept. 12, weekend brunch will be open until 2:30pm instead of 1:00pm.

Along with the extended hours, starting at noon, burgers and fries will be offered and the 360 grill will also open.

A further addition that will be completed by the Sept. 18 is the Spire 3.0. The Spire 3.0 allows you to mix in flavor shots of Pepsi flavors into your drink. According to Suriano, Le Moyne will be the first college campus in Upstate New York to have one.

So far, the feedback on the changes has been fairly positive.

“I like the changes in the cafe!” said sophomore Megan Daigle. “I think that the salad bar is much better and I also like that they have options for people with food allergies now; I think it’s considerate for our fellow ‘phins.”

“I am really happy with the food options now,” said junior Kristie Breckenridge. “I leave more satisfied than I did when I ate there last year.”

As for something that they think the dining hall can improve on, Daigle stated that one of the major issues is seating, especially during lunch — the busiest time of the day. Breckenridge on the other hand, believes that the sandwich station could still use improvements, stating that sometimes they are never fully satisfying and properly put together.

The question now is, will there be more changes in the future for LaCasse?

“Yes,” said Suriano. “We’re always looking at what we can do to improve. We’re always looking for what makes it better for students; what makes students happier with what we’re doing.”