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University offers new dining options

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Economics senior Kevin Woods shops at the new Trader Joe's in South Campus Plaza.

Economics senior Kevin Woods shops at the new Trader Joe's in South Campus Plaza.

Petey Dyer

Petey Dyer

Economics senior Kevin Woods shops at the new Trader Joe's in South Campus Plaza.

by Maya Carter, Staff Writer

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The beginning of the fall 2017 semester comes with new dining options for SDSU students and faculty on campus.

The first of these is Dickey’s Barbecue Pit which is projected to open in mid-September and is available to students with meal plan.

Paul Melchior, SDSU dining services director, said Dickey’s would complement the campus’ portfolio of dining options well.

“We noticed that we didn’t have a place on campus that offered barbecue, but often times when University Towers Kitchen or The Garden had barbecue nights it was very popular,” Melchior said.

Melchior said that several things are taken into account when selecting a new vendor to provide food for students on campus.

“There’s a process that we always go through when there’s an open space,” Melchior said.

Melchior said that it is important that vendors make sense for students financially.

“We’ve collectively been on campus for awhile so we know pretty well what students like and what their price points will allow,” said Melchior. “(Bringing Subway to campus) was actually the result of a student survey.”

Melchior said that they also must meet sanitation and health code requirements as well as have business viability.

“Shake Smart was actually started by students on campus,” Melchior said. “They presented their business plan and we helped them with one cart and now they’re nationwide.”

Melchior said that the weekly Farmer’s Market is also a way to test vendors.

“Olive Oil’s location in the West End Plaza is the result of their success at the farmer’s market,” he said.

“We also look to see if they have healthy options available, like vegan and vegetarian,” Melchior said. “Instead of creating one restaurant that is totally vegan, we choose restaurants that have options for students.”

Josie Truong, a business finance junior, said that she wishes there were more healthy fast food options on campus.

“I liked Daphne’s a lot because I felt like their food was healthy and different,” Truong said. “Now they’ve replaced it with a barbecue place which is almost the opposite end of the spectrum.”

Truong also said that she is excited for the new dining options coming to South Campus Plaza.

“I’m excited for the poke place because that’s my favorite food and it’s a unique option for Asian food on campus,” Truong said. “I’ve also been to Trader Joe’s and I thought it was really nice and had a lot of great options.”

In an effort to keep produce on campus healthy and fresh, “Campus Grown” is a new program that expands the products that are grown on campus. It has expanded from two to four growing locations over the summer.

“The most significant location is on the patio outside of the garden where we have twenty aeroponic towers where that grow 880 heads of fresh lettuce every three weeks,” Melchior said. “We don’t use pesticides, artificial fertilizer and there are no negative effects on the environment.”

Advertising  junior Victoria Newton said that she’s excited to hear about the fact that products are grown here on campus.

“I’m really excited to learn more about it,” Newton said. “I try to eat as healthy as possible when I’m on campus and knowing that a lot of the produce is fresh and without chemicals is amazing.”

Another new feature offered by SDSU Dining Services this semester is the option for commuter students to purchase a meal plan.

“There are three plans and the more you commit to up front, the bigger discount you get,” Melchior said. “All plans are designed to have a declining balance and are without restriction.”

While Eureka and Trader Joe’s are the only vendors in South Campus Plaza that are currently open, the rest of the restaurants are projected to be open by January 2018. None of the vendors in South Campus Plaza are available to students via meal plan.

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