Dining hall updates meant to create a more welcoming community space


Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer

The renovated exterior of the Elder dining hall. Compass Group, Northwestern’s food service partner, invested $19 million in renovations.

Neya Thanikachalam, Assistant Campus Editor

As new students arrived on campus for Wildcat Welcome, they were greeted by updates to dining halls across campus, including more than $19 million in renovations at Allison and Elder halls.

All dining halls are meant to follow the University’s “Pure Eats” standard by preparing simple, healthy food that avoids major allergens, including nuts and gluten. A news release added that by providing students with an increased amount of nutritious dining options, students can be more mindful of what they consume, rather than eating out.

Northwestern and Compass have also increased their commitment to supporting local food providers. There will be more events highlighting local businesses, such as pop-up restaurants at the Tech Express facility.

At Allison and Elder, renovations include “distinctive” food stations that allow students more dining options, including cooked-from-scratch entrees and fair trade coffee. The changes extend beyond meal choices with a teaching kitchen at Allison that allows students to learn cooking skills from professional chefs.

The renovations focus on creating “inviting, modern” community spaces in dining halls for students as well as faculty and staff.

“Anyone can buy a meal plan or simply pay at the door,” Stacey Brown, director of dining on campus, said in the release. “Either way these are warm, inviting places to get a great meal while engaging in the campus experience.”

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