The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 4th

Speak up about dining: Carolina Dining Services solicits feedback on campus dining experiences

Chances are when reminiscing about UNC's two dining halls Lenoir and Rams Head positive memories are not the first to come to mind.

In fact the most likely response is despair and misery knowing that you still have 80 dining hall meals left this semester.

Complaints about Carolina Dining Services are abundant.

With the average cost per meal ranging between $5.75 and $8.60 depending on the meal plan one wouldn't expect long lines flavorless food and meat quality ratings lower than your last midterm grade.

But during lunchtime lines stretch from Lenoir to the Student Union there are few if any available seats and the food is more than likely unappetizing.

Even the dining services' Web site rarely reflects the daily menus accurately.

In fact the only redeeming qualities of our monopolistic dining halls are the convenience and variety that they provide.

Yet to make it all worse CDS butters you up with the occasional theme dinner or recruitment day demonstrating that they can make great food they just choose not to.

And with a cancellation fee of $250 and a required yearly contract it is almost impossible to drop your meal plan.

It appears that CDS has little business incentive to provide quality food consistently.

But hope for a satisfying meal is not lost.

CDS is offering a survey to students that if nothing else will allow students to take out their frustration in mass. Students can even win an iPod touch or Best Buy gift cards.

There are feedback forms on the dining services' Web site and at every dining location on campus. CDS even maintains a Student Dining Board of Directors to act as a liaison between the student body and Carolina Dining Services.

While one might be skeptical of the influence that the board yields there are ample yet underutilized methods for students to provide feedback to CDS.

If students want their dining experience to improve they must provide feedback and pressure dining services to meet their expectations.

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