The list of demands includes quality checks on food. Graphic by Julia Garrison ‘25.

Ada Lapham

Contributing Writer

On Oct. 28, students stood in the lobby of Lowry Dining Hall, continuing their protest which began at President Anne E. McCall’s Inauguration. Students handed out pamphlets to those passing through. These pamphlets included demands to various campus offices and departments at Wooster, most notably in administration-student relations and dining. Listed at the top of one of the pages was the demand that “by November 1st, 2023 Lowry will return the original Fall 2021 seasoning rack and provide microwaves in Lowry.” In a longer, updated version of the demands, the date was changed to Nov. 17. 

A walk into the dining hall this week reveals a new spice rack has been added alongside the condiment bar next to the dish drop. This new rack includes about 20 industrial-size spices. These include cumin, bagel seasoning, ancho chili seasoning and many others. Along with this addition, a large microwave has been placed on the counter between the cereal dispensers and the waffle maker. A short list of instructions has been placed on top.

No official announcement was made to announce these additions. However, this was one of the first in the list of demands to be publicly met by the College. 

Marjorie Shamp, the director of campus dining, said that the decision to immediately instate these demands was a simple one. “That was all pretty easy stuff,” Shamp explained, speaking of the demand for a spice rack and microwave. 

The list of demands were in Shamp’s hands at lunch on Saturday following McCall’s inauguration ceremony. She had already scanned the distributors’ catalog for spices and ordered the racks by the time she left work that night. “When I saw a list of specifics I was like, ‘ooh a project.’” 

There are still other demands outlined specific to dining services. Among them is a call to “implement measures to ensure quality consistency between meals served throughout the day.” Another calls for dining services to “actively plan and organize celebrations of holidays and independence days of countries represented in the international student body.” The last calls for the creation of a committee to “work with International Student Services and cultural student organization[s] to develop accurate menus with authentic and correct recipes.”

In response to these other demands of campus dining, Shamp says that they are working on these too. “They take more planning,” she said, so they are unlikely to go into immediate effect. Early into the semester, campus dining was understaffed and spent a large amount of their time working towards Black and Gold Weekend. Post-Black and Gold Weekend is the time when the dining services settle into their routine and can begin to take these and other criticisms into consideration. 

According to Shamp, a Student Dining Committee has been formed with seven students to be more transparent about the inner workings of the dining hall and to get more student feedback straight from the source. The committee has been in the works all semester and will have their first meeting in the coming weeks.

“From ‘I love food’ to ‘I want my voice to be heard,’” Shamp said of the students’ motivations. The formation of this committee was not in response to the list of demands; however, the hope is that they will help address them. When asked if the information from their monthly meetings would be made public, Shamp admitted that she did not have a current plan but is considering emailing the monthly meeting minutes out to the campus community.

Shamp wants to make the dining experience “as accessible as possible.” For her, the best way to adapt from criticism is if people give her specific solutions. She wants people to tell her exactly what they want changed and give her recipes if they have them. “We’re here to create the best dining experience possible.”