By Elissa SalamySPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
A new avenue of communication has opened up between Hofstra students and Lackmann Culinary Services: text messaging. Advertisements on the TVs and on the tables of the Student Center encourage students to text a Lackmann manager with their comments, concerns and ideas and are guaranteed a reply within 24 hours.
Freshman Julianne Nuetzel used the opportunity to text Lackmann services about her concerns.
“I texted them: ‘In the Student Center salad bar, the carrots are difficult to cut with a plastic knife.’ I got an automatic response, and then today I got, ‘We’ll relay to the chef to make the carrots into more bite-size pieces,’” Nuetzel said.
The response from Lackmann came within 24 hours of her messaging them. At the time of writing, Nuetzel has not seen a change in the salad bar, but is hopeful.
However, not all agree with Nuetzel – student reactions to the campaign have been mixed.
“I think it’s like a suggestion box. It’s there and people know it’s there, but how many people really use it?” said freshman Lisa Goldschmidt. “Would I use it? Probably not.”
However, junior Caryn Bailey said she thought that texting is preferable to other ways for students to express their opinions and ideas.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for students to share their concerns with the food or if they have a bad meal. It’s better than having to fill out the survey or talk to somebody,” Bailey said. “It creates an opportunity that normally would be available on a sheet of paper or talking to a supervisor, and a lot of kids probably aren’t comfortable doing that, especially if they’re complaining.”
Bailey has yet to message Lackmann regarding any concerns.
“I think if there was something I was legitimately concerned about, I would,” Bailey said.
Recently, students have had a number of complaints about the food services on campus, including mandated meal plans and the pricing of certain food items. Several students said that they felt the options on campus were lacking, and expressed doubt about the texting program.
“I feel like it’s harder to eat healthy because the healthy food is so expensive,” said Goldschmidt.
Senior Adam Kwestel prefers to eat most of his food off-campus, and is unsure that texting Lackmann would change anything.
“I don’t have as much to complain about because I can’t eat most of the food anyway. I’m Jewish, there’s one place I can eat from, and they’re not even open today because it’s a holiday,” said Kwestel. “I feel the Lackmann food is overpriced, and the quality of the food does not match the amount of money charged.”
Kwestel has not texted his concerns to Lackmann, and does not plan to.
Other students expressed concern over the student side of the program. Freshman Nikki Michalowski believes that students may abuse the text message system.
“There’s probably some people who do it as a joke,” said Michalowski.
Michalowski said she would send a message to Lackmann if she “got food poisoning.” But like Kwestel, she has not yet used the system.
Lackmann Culinary Services was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.