DDS disallows use of meal swipes at snack bars

by Claire Kardesch | 10/4/19 2:00am

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Novack Café was remodeled and now features Starbucks products.

by Bowen Chen / The Dartmouth

Starting this term, Dartmouth Dining Services has introduced new hours and Starbucks products at Novack Café and has disallowed the use of meal swipes at the College’s snack bars. 

Students are no longer able to use meal swipes at snack bars this term — DDS director Jon Plodzik said that the purpose of a meal swipe is to get a meal; while the purpose of dining dollars is for snacks, such as those served at the snack bars across campus.

 Jason Carpio ’22 said that snack bars not accepting meal swipes is “limiting and a little unfair to completely change the system that people were so used to,” describing it as worrisome because a lot of people rely on snack bars to get their meals. 

In addition, Plodzik added that students can look forward to the addition of several more snack bars in the upcoming years.

Recently, Novack modified its business hours. In previous years, Novack was open until 2 a.m. regularly ­— making it one of the few DDS options open past dinner hours; however, Novack now closes at 12 a.m. 

Plodzik attributed this change to attempt to use College resources more wisely. Plodzik said that Novack lacks enough demand from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., so DDS would rather deploy additional resources during peak periods of the day. 

Another notable change is the serving of Starbucks products at Novack, which was renovated before the fall term. 

“People come from all over the country and Starbucks tends to be known worldwide,” Plodzik said.  

Plodzik said that the adoption of Starbucks products has increased demand for coffee products. He added that Novack used to make about five espressos a day and is now making five espressos every 10 minutes. 

“[Starbucks brought a] certain level of quality to the program just because of the name,” Plodzik said. 

Starbucks training for all Novack student managers, supervisors and full-time staff was successfully completed last week, Plodzik noted. 

Along with the addition of Starbucks products, new food options are being offered. In addition to the grab-and-go options for which Novack was previously known, DDS now offers heated, artisan sandwiches and gourmet desserts. 

Carpio added that though he enjoys the addition of Starbucks products, Novack’s current iteration lacks “an authenticity” that the Dartmouth community appreciated. Carpio also cited the lack of Novack mainstays such as Moe’s Southwest Grill burritos and iced cappuccinos as a contributing factor. 

He said that he appreciates the shift in Novack’s hours since it offers benefits to employees, who often had to work later than 2 a.m. to close the café, which he said outweighs the benefit of Novack being open for an additional two hours. 

Audrey Karnan ’21 agreed that the character of Novack has changed. She said that she appreciated the grab-and-go options and late hours because it became a “kind of hub for studying” and there was a sense of “camaraderie in Novack.”

She added that she is glad DDS improved the quality of food, but admitted that the old food used to be part of Novack’s charm.