6 Things to Love about the Caf…Even Without the Blue Drink
By Abbey Schlanz ’18
If you ask Mount Union students where Kresge Dining Commons is, they might give you a blank stare. If you ask them where the “caf” is, you’ll get an immediate answer. For most residential students, the Dining Commons—or caf—is a staple of campus life.
Within the first few weeks of fall semester, freshmen have chosen their favorite tables, learned to navigate food station lines, and memorized the late night snack schedule. Upperclassmen swipe their Purple Pluses for a reprieve from cooking in their apartments or townhouses. With so many students relying on the caf for meals, AVI Food Services works hard to make it a place students love.
1. So Many Options!
Homestyle, pasta, pizza, salad, sandwiches, international…I could go on about the food options available in the cafeteria. It’s hard not to find something you like when most stations rotate meals every day. During one lunch you might see pulled pork, Alfredo pasta, buffalo sliders, and sushi. Then, if you come back for dinner, a whole new set of options will be waiting. Sometimes you’ll find food you’ve never tried, or never even seen before. I had my first gyro as a freshman at Mount, and it’s now one of my favorite foods.
2. To-Go Boxes
So you’re really craving a fried chicken and mashed potato bowl from the Homestyle station, but you don’t have enough time to sit and eat a whole meal. Luckily, AVI offers reusable containers for only $5. After swiping into the caf, you can fill the container with as much food as you can fit, store it in your mini-fridge, and reheat it later. The best part is that you can wash the to-go box out and use it again and again. It’s incredibly convenient for students with busy schedules.
3. Wrap Wednesdays
Most days, the sandwich bar offers exactly what you would expect: sandwiches. But on Wednesdays, tortillas tower over the bread racks. After picking what kind of wrap (my favorite is tomato basil) and loading it up with fillings, a staff member can toast it to the perfect temperature. Oh, and don’t worry—you can still get a sandwich on Wrap Wednesdays. Just ask the staff member at the station!
4. Late Night
It’s 10 p.m. on a Tuesday. You’re sick of eating ramen and granola bars in your room, but your stomach is growling. Soon, you hear your roommate’s stomach, too. Neither of you feels like spending money on Sheetz. What do you do? Go to Late Night. Every Monday through Thursday from 10-11:30 p.m., the caf opens its doors with a late night snack for students. It’s a great way to break up hours of studying, make up for missed dinner, or just hang out with friends. Late Night can be anything from mini-pizzas to a sundae bar to loaded baked potatoes to everyone’s favorite: chicken nuggets. If it’s “nug night,” make sure you get to the cafeteria early. It’s so popular the line trails through half of the Hoover-Price Campus Center.
Everyone’s heard of the freshman fifteen, the dreaded number of pounds college students are expected to gain. Well, at Mount Union, the dessert bar makes it easy—even enjoyable—to earn them. (It’s a good thing we have the MAAC.) Right next to the door on your way out sits a case full of cupcakes, pies, cookies, brownies, cereal bars, and several flavors of gelato that change every day. So don’t forget to swipe a sweet treat before heading to class!
6. The Staff Members
While the food is the main reason to head to the caf, what makes the experience even better is the staff. Corey cooks up tasty meals on the grill, Linda dishes out extra scoops of gelato, Chris serves up sandwiches with a smile. When the campus-favorite “blue drink” was discontinued, the staff offered a heartfelt apology and replaced the drink with slushy machines, a major hit among students. Mount Union strives to build a sense of community, and the AVI staff certainly help make campus a second home.