Plattsburgh State has been in a state of remodeling and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Wilson Hall is the most recent project to be completed on campus. Students and parents alike widely approve of the recent changes to Wilson, some even going as far as saying it is the best residence hall they have ever seen.
Although Wilson’s renovations are complete, there are other projects on campus that aren’t, which every student is reminded of by walking around campus.
This is what Director of Housing and Residence Life Stephen Matthews calls “a necessary evil”. Although the school does its best to complete as much of the renovations as possible during summer break, construction often leaks into the upcoming academic year.
Clinton Dining Hall in particular is an unfinished project that is leaving many returning students frustrated. Namely, those who are vegetarian and vegan.
“Premature” is what Whiteface Residence Assistant Schyler Bisson would call the decision to open Clinton Dining Hall in its current state earlier this fall. Although he appreciates the renovations and thinks they were badly needed, Schyler believes that by leaving out sections of the dining hall, only to reintroduce them later is unfair. Especially to those who are vegetarian or vegan. “They have to shop off campus” he says. The lack of options and knowledge by dining hall staff available to these individuals with these specialized diets has led them to dine off campus more. And to those students who purchase a dining plan, it must feel like a waste.
Matthews is aware of the dissatisfaction by some students regarding Clinton Dining Hall and encourages any student to leave feedback to dining staff, whether it be about dietary needs or simply the quality of the food itself. He also encourages students with specialized diets to frequent Algonquin Dining Hall for the time being, although he acknowledges the inconvenience of the dining hall’s hours, as it is only open on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Besides the less amount of options available to students at Clinton Dining hall, Schyler thinks the renovations are taking it in the right direction. Saying that the atmosphere of the hall changed tremendously. “Before, it was kind of dreary” now he said the modern look makes the dining hall more inviting. That’s partially because of the increased space, he said. He thinks it was a good idea to take out many of the booths and instead opting for more tables and chairs, which he believes allows for more students to come in and enjoy the dining hall. Removing seating away from the conveyor belts to reduce the smell is a big improvement as well he says.
Although he likes it for the most part, Schyler concedes that among his group of friends, Clinton Dining Hall’s renovations has left a mixed bag of emotions.
Maybe the most passionate among them is PSUC student Mike Herring. He loved Clinton Dining Hall before the renovations, and if he had his way, he says he wouldn’t change a thing.
“It seems very deliberate that they have changed the style of seating, the lighting, and the addition of louder music. Their intentions are to get people in, feed them and get them out”.
Michael doesn’t feel like the new renovations make the dining hall more welcoming at all. Before, he thought it was cozy, but now he thinks the lighting is harsh, and is more crowded and difficult to find seating with a group of friends.
PSUC’s mission to make the campus a better place is leaving many students happy, just ask the students living in Wilson Hall. But for some, change has been an issue.
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