The Dining Hall Makes Its First Revamp in Three Years

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The Dining Hall brings back ice cream toppings, introduces flavored teas, adds beans, and more.

This week many students noticed some new features and changes in the dining hall. These changes, which go way beyond the Easter and spring décor, were made by the Interim Director of Dining and Catering, Kevin Owen. This is the first revamp of the Dining Hall in three years.

The ice cream machine moved and ice cream toppings were reintroduced. Flavored teas and beans are now a daily choice at the dining hall. Owen said that all of the changes have received positive feedback from students. When the “flavor shot” was introduced, the dining hall went through six gallons of ginger tea and also went through three gallons of blueberry tea later on in the week.

Another new addition is an herb garden. Fresh Ideas plans to use these herbs in the food they prepare for catered events. Currently, they do not have enough herbs to use them in the food they prepare for the students. However, Owen said he plans to expand the herb garden in hopes that they will be used in the student’s meals soon.

Not only did Owen redesign the dining hall kitchen, but he also oversaw the repairs for the ice cream machine. A brand-new ice cream machine like the one currently in use cost anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000. It was Owen’s idea to bring back the ice cream toppings.

Owen also commented that students could expect more next semester in JCI, as well as the World Beat Station in the Dining Hall. Also, there will be a green initiative, and Fresh Ideas will be selling reusable to-go mugs and to-go boxes.

If you have any questions, comment, concerns, suggestions, or opinions regarding the Dining Hall, JCI, or Fresh Ideas, contact Kevin Owen at

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