CWU welcomes new northside dining facilities


AJ St. John, Staff Reporter

At the beginning of fall quarter, an expansion of available dining services has accompanied the new hall, Dugmore. The Northside Commons joins Holmes Dining Room, and North Village Cafe as a dining facility located on CWU campus. The commons houses Panda Express, the newest addition to CWU Dining. It is also accompanied by the 1891 Cafe & Market (C&M). With the focus on the residents of the northside of campus, CWU has delivered.

Kyle Wilkinson

“We don’t really have food on the north end of campus,” said Joseph Pearson, executive director of auxiliary enterprises. “We need to have a dining presence.” 

Pearson states that the initial construction process was focused on the residence hall. With updates to campus housing comes updates to campus dining. Prior to the northside commons, the closest dining north campus had was the Northside Cafe. According to Pearson, the addition of the new commons means that students will no longer needed to walk long distances for food. 

Pearson said during the construction process that they were able to talk about how they can make this the best experience for students in the dining process. For good practice, Pearson emphasized the sustainability practices in the new dining hall such as the compostable utensils. 

Pearson commented on the wide variety of grab-and-go items in the C&M. The C&M provides easier access to campus meals and other items for those who are further from the SURC. The C&M cafe carries personal hygiene products and snacks of large variety.

Students flood the dining hall during typical lunch and dinner hours. This new dining hall is also the only area of campus that serves nitro coffee, according to Pearson.

“The fortune cookies are cool,” from Ibrahim Sydock, a freshman at CWU. 

The new dining services on the northside of campus cater to the needs of students like Sydock. The struggle of walking to SURC to get a snack is an outdated expectation for north campus residents. The new dining facility allows students to have a convenient distance for them to grab necessities and snacks.  

“My plan looking forward is probably just to get to know a lot of freshmen and have them pay for me so I don’t have to worry about the prices,” Junior Ian Collins said.

For those students with a meal plan, the new dining facility utilizes Connection Cards. Prices of Panda Express on campus were expected to be slightly higher than the average, but even so, the pricing matches the quality and quantity of food that is received. Although off campus students pay full price, students like Collins, find worth in eating at the commons.

In the end, Pearson said that under the direction of the dining team, good practices at the Northside Commons will spread to the other dining services. 

“We really try to make this a place where students want to be, to gather, to build community and to enjoy a good meal,” Pearson said.