By Hannah Stafford, Staff Writer

The cafeteria has a variety of options for meals; however, it can quickly become stale. Slipping into patterns of the exact same meal day after day can be not only unhealthy but also incredibly boring. This is why the Asbury Student Cabinet (ASC) has recently taken the initiative to combat this monotony. Over the past few weeks, students may have noticed some small but new items placed around the cafeteria.

Although the mainlines offer the quickest and easiest meals in the caf, the salad bar, stir-fry station and sandwich bar offer endless possibilities, and ASC wants to encourage students to explore these possibilities with their new idea: Meal of the Week.

Claire Van Der Eems, Director of Public Relations for the ASC explained this new program. “ASC started the Meal of the Week as an effort to expand students’ horizons on the many possibilities in the caf,” she said. “We wanted to spark creativity for students when it comes to experimenting with different caf options.” The Meal of the Week and its recipe are displayed on posters and small cards, which can be found propped-up on every table of the cafeteria.

Matt Jackson, Vice President for Student Governance, hopes the Meal of the Week encourages students to branch out from their everyday caf choices. “The purpose is to give students an opportunity to try innovative things in the caf and hopefully submit their own ideas,” he said.

While Meal of the Week has only recently begun, ASC hopes to continue it well into the future. Van Der Eems explained that two more recipes will be featured as the Meal of the Week this semester and that ASC plans to continue sharing new recipes into the fall semester.

While Van Der Eems personally has not heard any feedback, positive or negative, regarding the Meal of the Week, Matt Jackson, Vice President for Student Governance said that “students have said that they think the design is awesome, and I know that those who have tried the recipe have enjoyed it.” Jackson also seconded Van Der Eems that the Meal of the Week is driven by students and that ASC would love to see some submissions and recipe ideas.

Sophomore Adam Rousey is excited about the Meal of the Week. “I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “I don’t typically make stir-fry in the caf, but I can appreciate suggestions as to what would and would not work in stir-fry.” When asked if he would ever consider contributing a recipe, Rousey replied that he would be interested in sharing recipes because “it would be another way to provide feedback and be involved on campus.”

Once students graduate from college, they won’t have a buffet available for every meal of the day, so the Meal of the Week recipe can be seen as a step to prepare for life after college. Freshman Alexandria George thinks it’s important for students to know how to prepare their own meals in the caf instead of always rushing through the mainline. “Learning to read a recipe and prepare a meal from that recipe is good practice for when we’re out of college and cooking for ourselves,” George said.

ASC expects and encourages contributions from students for future Meal of the Week ideas. “The head chef in the caf came up with the original recipe as well as current one, but we want students’ suggestions!” said Van Der Eems. “They can email their recipes tostudent.congress@asbury.edu.”

When the caf options seem unappealing or monotonous, students can take a look at the Meal of the Week recipe and spice up the caf.