This article appeared in the Fresh Start issue of the Collegian, sent to new Penn State students.
You’ve all heard the rumors: College food makes people sick, or that you’ll grow an abnormal body part if you eat certain things.
However, the dining commons at Penn State might change your perspective on how college food really is.
Sure, your Lion Cash funds can be used at some restaurants downtown, but after a while, things start to become a bit expensive. Eating on campus is a great way to save money, while allowing yourself to indulge in a wide variety of foods, in comfortable, buffet settings.
There are five different dining commons on campus, each accessible with your meal points, and conveniently located near each area of residence halls. In the East Halls, there lies Findlay Commons.
Findlay Commons is the largest dining commons on campus. Within Findlay Commons, there is Fresh Express, a lower-calorie oriented food bar, that allows students to eat specific, fresh combinations of foods such as made-to-order pastas and stir-frys. The Sol de Cobre bar is an all you can eat station spiced up with mexican food options. The Big Onion food bar is filled with many popular food options such as pizza, cheesesteaks and salads.
“If I could recommend any food here, it would be the pizza," Lauren Glass (freshman-division of undergraduate studies) said. “I pretty much eat it everyday.”
Another designated dining hall closely located to freshmen residence halls is Pollock Commons, within the Pollock Residence Halls.
Pollock Commons is an all-you-can-eat dining experience, where everything is served on plates, in a platform style service, ready to be grabbed for convenience. Within Pollock, like Findlay, there are specific food bars, including Leaf, Gusto, Swirl, and Envy. Leaf is known for its fresh salads, and different soups everyday. Gusto is the station for all italian eateries, such as pasta, pizza, and breadsticks. Swirl is the bakery station, and Envy is the fruit bar.
“At Pollock, the greatest thing is the mashed potatoes,” Aryanna Hanson (freshman-psychology) said. “Everyone should eat them all of the time.”
Besides the food aspect of the commons, the respectable couch areas of Pollock have a comfortable feel for the students here at Penn State.
“I usually hang out with my friends after I eat for a while," Kelly Dowd (freshman-business) said. "It's very comfortable here."
The South Food District, also known as Redifer Commons, is unique due to its food court style eateries. Within Redifer Commons, there are 11 different options for all-you-can-eat dining venues. Some of these include The Southside Buffet, City Grill, Fresco y Caliente, Hot Steel and Noodles and Urban Garden.
The North Food District, known as Warnock Commons, also includes all-you-can-eat buffets with various options. Within Warnock, you could find made-to-order pasta at RigaTony’s or grilled sandwiches at The Bluespoon Market.
Last, but not least, the West Food District at Waring Square by the West Residence Hall is notoriously known for chocolate chip cookies. But besides the fresh desserts, West offers made-to-order sandwiches at The West Wing, and organic food options at the Sisu bar.
Although not high up on your lists for reasons to attend Penn State, the food here is definitely a plus, with its wide variety of options, locations, and convenience.