Preparation ramps up for proposed dining renovations

The next year will bring major changes to dining at Wheaton College as a serious overhaul of the dining systems and facilities are set to take place.

The changes set to take place will hopefully improve the atmosphere and aesthetics of each facility, as well as appeal to a more diverse group of students, with an emphasis on organic and vegetarian options. The payment method for the new dining is still under consideration, but a final conclusive method for students to pay for their food has not yet been established.

The reason that these renovations are set to take place is the apparent fact that there was a lot of feedback concerning the current state of dining at Wheaton. 

“As we investigated the range of facilities needs across the campus, and as we considered feedback from students and families about their priorities, it became clear that we needed to move on these renovations,” said Brian Douglas, the vice president for finance and administration at Wheaton.

The dining menu in particular was something that has needed a reboot for several years, as Douglas said “this project surfaced as a very high priority during the development of our multi-year capital plan a year and half ago, but in truth, our awareness of the need for renovations extends further back.  The renovations to Chase, in particular, are long overdue.”

 The new menus differ for each of the four dining areas (Chase, Emerson, Balfour-Hood and the Diana Davis Spencer ’60 Café). 

Chase will seemingly have an emphasis on offering a more diverse menu that offers more global choices. It will still offer cook-to-order meals, but there will be a heavy expansion of the organic, vegan and vegetarian options. Emerson will have a casual café type of menu, with salads, wraps and made to order meals. 

Balfour-Hood’s menu will still include Starbucks coffee, but aside from that it will become almost exclusively a dining area for locally grown and organic foods. The Diana Davis Spencer ’60 Café’s menu will be virtually unchanged, as it will still offer its current choices of yogurt, paninis and salad.

As far as aesthetic renovations go, Chase will seemingly be revamped the most. From a practical standpoint, the kitchen will be completely replaced with better equipment. 

The atmosphere of Chase will undergo quite a change as well. New furnishing, like barstools and sofa chairs,  will replace the current furnishings in order to give the area a more pleasant and friendly atmosphere. 

The vigil is one of a number of events being hosted by FAW as a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a national initiative to bring attention to cases of domestic violence over the month of October each year. It is the second time that FAW has hosted one; they also did so in 2013. 

The executive board of FAW, which is currently led by Kate Gannon ’16 and Alexandra Natale ’16, met last year to come up with the idea for the vigil.

Gannon said that she thought the vigil was an opportunity to “reflect, heal and be mindful of the people we know in our own lives who have been affected by intimate partner violence.”

Domestic Violence Awareness month was started by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a Denver-based nonprofit that works to eliminate domestic violence and inform the public about it, among other goals.