DS View: Changes

WILKERSON Renovations to dining center will improve the building, student life and the value of a meal plan.


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Recently, plans were released that detailed the long-awaited renovation of Wilkerson Hall. We, the Dakota Student editorial board, are excited to hear that Wilkerson will finally be modernized. When compared to the other dining centers, and especially Squires, Wilkerson is drastically lacking in quality and appearance.

We in no way mean to insult the hard working staff of the dining center, which includes many of our classmates. However, when given the option, there are few UND students who would prefer to eat at Wilkerson instead of any of the other dining centers. The food options are noticeably fewer at Wilkerson compared to Squires or Terrace, and the food lines are awkwardly spaced out. This leads to a disorderly mob of students standing around instead of an organized line with a clear direction.

The interior is comically outdated and lacks the comfortable and welcoming feeling that Squires has. The teal walls, the hanging portraits of nameless old men and the sign above the cereal bar look like they came straight out of the 70s.

To top it all off, the large fluorescent-lit room frequently sits empty, with far too much space for far too few bodies. There is no scenario in which every table at Wilkerson would be full. Part of the dining center is walled-off during certain parts of the day to make the space seem more full, but there are always empty tables lined too closely together making it difficult to get out of your seat with a tray full of dishes.

The renovations made to Wilkerson will be hugely beneficial for students. While there are some very nice buildings on campus, there are also many buildings in need of renovations. Wilkerson is without a doubt one of those buildings.

Meal plans are expensive. After the renovations, we believe that students will feel as though they are getting much more value for their money when they buy a meal plan. Squires is a very nice dining hall, but it is open at much more limited hours. When people have no choice but to eat at Wilkerson on the weekend, they get sick of their meal plan pretty fast and feel as though they would get a better deal just by buying food that they actually want to eat and making it, which can also be significantly cheaper.

The upcoming renovations should make the dining center more appealing to those who pay for meal plans.