Dining Hall sees Updates for Fall Semester, Wage Increases for Student Workers


Returning Dickinson College students may have noticed changes to the dining hall situation this year: more robust food stations, altered traffic patterns, and self-service buffet stands. Despite the deviation from last year’s offerings, Director of Culinary Services Errol Huffman believes  that these modifications have had a positive impact on students. “All these things have helped students self-direct to varied options, choose what they want, and [have] doubled or tripled the number of buffet lines from normal,” he said in an interview. The changes have not been as beneficial to everyone, however, since dining hall cooks must now meet the demand of more than 3,000 servings per meal.

The dining hall staff has also slightly grown since the beginning of last academic year. “We have filled a few more vacancies compared to this time last year,” Huffman stated , “We have one more team member starting later in September and a few applicants that look promising; however, there is still a significant number of openings.” Huffman is hopeful that as culinary services continues to hire more staff, keeping up with the high demand in meal servings will become easier.

The increase in culinary staffing more predominantly applies to the student staff. According to Huffman, there has been an influx of student employees starting with dining services this year compared to last. “This is helpful, and we continue to accept students who are interested in [working for] Dining Services,” he said. Student workers will now receive a rate of $10 per hour and a free dining hall meal for each shift worked, which Huffman notes is “by far the highest rate on campus and a great option for those looking to supplement meals on Flex plans.”

As of August 30th, more than 120 students had applied to work for dining services and were put on the schedule, according to Huffman. While most students were able to begin working for dining services immediately following the completion of their onboarding, international students had to wait until September 1st for a representative from the Social Security office to distribute Social Security card applications.

Rati Kutkhashvili ’26, a first-year international student from Tbilisi, Georgia, was one of those students who had to wait to apply for a Social Security number in order to start working. While the prolonged process for international students is not exactly convenient, Kutkhashvili expressed that he was satisfied with how the process went: “[the process] was very well organized, actually. Everything had its own schedule, and we already knew what the required paperwork was.”

The Any 15 + Sushi meal plan was launched this year. According to Dickinson’s website, the plan offers up to four boxes of sushi and 15 regular board meals per week throughout the semester. In addition to the dining hall, Any 15 swipes  are redeemable at the Union Station and the Underground, which is similar to the Any 20 plan. 

Meal plan holders can also spend  points at the Biblio Café once it opens. Speaking on the café’s reopening Huffman stated that “the Biblio will open as soon as we have student-employees recruited and trained for that area. We are looking at this situation each day. When it opens again, the hours of service will be at night to complement the daytime hours that Denim [Coffee] will be open once that operation is ready.”

While adjusting to the new dining situation may take time for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, all students should be confident to know that improvements have been made since last year, including the adjusted dining hall setup, staffing, and additional meal plan options. Students can also look forward to the reopening of the Quarry, which will house a new Denim Coffee shop later this semester.