While many students at The University of Southern Mississippi were enjoying their summer vacations, the university’s food service, Eagle Dining, was hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year and making changes.
As a result of a 2010 survey, “Dining Styles,” Eagle Dining is giving students exactly what they asked for: speed, nutritional options, variety and perks.
Many students may have already noticed some changes involving more locations, more food varieties and healthier options.
"I’m glad they made some changes. You get tired of eating the same foods every day,” says LaKeisha Carter, a senior health policy and administration major from Tylertown, Miss.
The Agora, located in the International Center, features “Tsunami Sushi” and other ethnic cuisine. The addition of Tortilla Fresca, which replaced Greek Eats, was a direct result of the survey.
“Tortilla Fresca gives students a fast, casual dining experience throughout their day,” said LaShana Sorrell, marketing manager of Eagle Dining. “Nutritionally, all ingredients are made in-house, offering a variety of meats and sauces to choose from and the option to build-your-own taco, burrito, salad, and nachos.”
“Tortilla Fresca is really fresh and quick. I like it much better than Greek Eats,” says Caroline Baucum, a junior accounting major from Laurel, Miss.
At the Powerhouse, a casual sit-down restaurant, smoothies are now a part of the menu. Island Oasis smoothies feature flavors such as strawberry, peach cooler and bango bash, and offers a flavor of the day. These smoothies provide nourishment for those on the go, according to Sorrell.
Powerhouse additions also include a bottomless soup, salad and bread menu Monday through Thursday, with specialties and various soups of the day. These are quick options for those wanting a quality lunch but lacking in time, says Sorrell.
Eagle Dining is also bringing an outdoor dining option to students with the Courtyard Grill. The Courtyard Grill, located outside next to the Powerhouse, will serve burgers, sausage dogs, chips and drinks in addition to Island Oasis smoothies.
“Our goal was to provide the best quality food experiences for students and faculty,” says Sorrell.
Located in the heart of campus across from Cook Library, the Courtyard Grill gives students the option to enjoy their food in a picnic-like atmosphere throughout the week.
“I took the survey and I love the results. I’m glad Eagle Dining took our feelings into consideration,” says Jasmine McKiney, a sophomore business major from Madison, Miss.
According to Sorrell, the updating of Grille Works, a grab-and-go eatery with specialty burgers, wings, and sandwiches in A Stone’s Throw, provides a better menu selection for those in need of quality and quickness. Grille Works burgers are made from Certified Angus Beef, and are dressed to fit the customer’s preference. For those wanting an organic or vegan alternative, Grille Works offers the “Gardenburger® Malibu Burger.”
In addition to expanding food choices, Eagle Dining has been working to better communicate with faculty, staff and students. Becoming technology-savvy, Eagle Dining has rolled out a new text messaging program. By texting “Eagle Dining” to 65374, students are enrolled to receive promotions, freebies and discounts at various locations.
“The faculty, staff, and students love technology. We want to make sure we are current with the trends and give information in the way they would like to receive it,” says Sorrell.
Eagle Dining serves as the university's food service provider and is committed to providing quality food, service and value with innovative programs to meet the changing needs of the students and faculty. For information visit www.eagledining.com