The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday January 15th

Food for thought: Carolina Dining Services does well in analyzing student needs; fee increases necessary

The planned expansion of the Top of Lenoir and installation of a 24-hour restaurant in the Student Union are welcome improvements to on-campus dining, despite the required $18.25 student fee increase.

Fee increases are rarely welcomed by students, but as the University’s enrollment continues to grow, on-campus dining needs to grow with it.

Carolina Dining Services, with the help of the consulting firm MarketMatch, has done a good job listening to the requests of students concerning dining options.

By conducting surveys and holding focus groups, MarketMatch determined what criteria UNC students have for a new restaurant on campus, and the fast food chain Wendy’s may be the best fit.

Having a Wendy’s on campus would offer 24-hour food service and meet various needs of college students. The restaurant provides quick service, offers reasonably priced meals and can serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A restaurant in the basement of the Student Union will also divert students from Lenoir and Alpine Bagel, which experience overcrowding.

The renovation of Lenoir will also deal with overcrowding issues. Expansion of the second floor will add about 200 seats, and renovations in the building’s basement will also increase seating.

Unfortunately, these improvements will cost students a fee increase. Approved last Friday by the student fee advisory subcommittee, the onetime increase to the dining debt fee would cover the Lenoir expansion as well as necessary renovations to what is now the copy center in the Student Union. The fee still has to be approved at administrative levels.

These projects will make real improvements to space issues, but future improvements might also need to be made.

With administrators pushing for more activity on South Campus, Carolina Dining Services should also consider expanding dining options around Rams Head Plaza, which gets foot traffic from students going to class from South Campus.

Carolina Dining Services has been diligent to ensure that money is well spent, and the upgrades accompanying the proposed fee are a good start to improving on-campus dining.

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