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  • Mitchell Popovski

Canisius Students Left Unsatisfied with Dining Changes

By: Mitchell Popovski

The beginning of the semester did not just bring new changes to students’ schedules but also to the on-campus dining option TruBurger, which was relocated to the Dining Hall. The move, which had the goal of making the restaurant more accessible and expanding the menu, has not been received well by many students, as there have been complaints of longer wait times and a reduced menu. The changes, however, did not stop there, as the once beloved Shoppe 120 has officially been reopened as the Smoothie Lab, alongside a new vending machine and coffee maker.

Overall the reaction from students towards the changes has been negative, but this article is written with the understanding that Chartwells is experiencing staffing issues. While there is some improvement, especially with the accessibility to TruBurger, the move overall has been very controversial. It comes just two years removed from Canisius spending a considerable amount of money to remodel the area above the Palisano Fitness Center. Some students have expressed sadness that the area can no longer be used for club events, such as C-Block’s hockey watch parties and LASAF’s Lotería. 

While the Dining Hall is open to events, it has been even before the move, leaving clubs and organizations with less space to host events — space that was already scarce since the damage that occurred to Lyons Hall. That, coupled with the waste of money in remodeling the area to better fit Chartwells and students’ desires, has left many students frustrated.

Despite the relocation, students are still unable to use meal swipes at TruBurger, instead having to use Griff Bucks. The reasoning for this is that the quality of food at TruBurger is supposed to be more so than that of the Dining Hall. The food quality, however, has been either the same or worse than its counterpart. Hall Director Gabrielle DeRocher had praise for the regular Dining Hall, however, saying, “D-hall has been poppin’ lately.”

No student will complain about the uptick in production during regular dining hours, and a massive thanks goes out to the Chartwells staff and cooks for doing so. The menu options at TruBurger, though, have also been drastically decreased from even last semester. Where it sits right now, there are only 13 items (outside of drinks) for students to choose from. These options include few healthy options, while it also highlights a failed promise Chartwells made to administrators at Canisius, as before the move they promised an expanded menu, when in reality it has only shrunk. This issue has been going on for years, as gone are multiple burger options, different fries, subs and more.

It would be unfair to Chartwells, however, to write about how little their menu for TruBurger is without offering some more menu items for them to consider. A group of students provided a list that includes such options: 

Subs (with vegetarian options)

  • Sliders

  • Calzones

  • Baked ziti with breadsticks

  • Customizable sides

  • Philly cheesesteaks 

  • Tacos 

  • More salads

  • Choconut option (for Smoothie lab)

These are just some options and by no means represent what the whole student body wants. But with the promise of an expanded menu not being filled to the University, Chartwells can go a number of different ways to correct the issues. 

One big thing that can help expand the palette is by having customizable sides. As it sits right now, fries automatically come with the main dinner options and cannot be substituted out. If Chartwells allows students the ability to either change the type of fries — for example, to potato wedges — or the side altogether to a salad, let’s say, it could help make the students feel a greater diversity in food options while also potentially promoting healthier eating. 

Considering how much resident students have to pay for meal plans, it is slightly ridiculous that Chartwells chose to decrease the menu. In almost every meal package, students are given more Griff Bucks than Griff Choice; however, Griffbucks can only be spent at campus dining options, while Griff Choice can be spent on the local Golden Corner or even on GrubHub, giving students the ability to expand their plate and support local businesses that offer more food they want that Chartwells simply is not providing at True Burger. Many of these places, although more expensive, provide way more food per dollar, leaving students more satisfied in the process.

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