Survey Reveals Student Opinions on Hodson Hall

By Michael Drake, Meghan Lepley and John Blakey
Elm Staff Writers

The survey was aimed at polling student satisfaction with the dining hall and its extremities, as well as collecting knowledge about what the students may have wanted to change. They also looked at the relative health of the sample by calculating students’ Body Mass Index (BMI) from their height and weight.

The respondent pool closely resembled the actual Washington College population. Out of 92 respondents 24 were male, 66 female and two did not specify. In the sample, there were 28 freshmen, 21 sophomores, 25 juniors and 16 seniors, and two respondents did not specify their class. Most of the respondents had either the 14 unrestricted or the 14 regular meal plan and that 86 percent of our respondents lived on campus.

At certain times during the day, there are long wait times at the dining hall. The survey asked about the average wait time our respondents experienced when they went to the dining hall. Seventy-two percent of students feel that they wait less than five minutes on average in line to get food. Though only eight students responded to the question about times to avoid the dining hall, the times they said to avoid the dining hall were from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., the lunch hour rush, and around 6 p.m.

Hodson Hall also has Mondo Subs, Coyote Jacks and Java George. On average, students used Java George 1.44 times a week, Mondo Subs 1.29, Coyote Jack’s .77 and the Sassafras Outtakes .30 times a week. Women buy from Java George more than men. Females buy 1.6 drinks per week compared to .79 for men, which was a statistically significant difference.

The study included various questions about satisfaction with the dining hall. About half of the respondents were satisfied with the new serving style and the other half were either indifferent or dissatisfied with the new service style. About three-quarters of the respondents were satisfied with the staff and the food.

Overall, more than three-quarters of the respondents were satisfied or very satisfied withHodson Hall. When asked what types of food students wanted to see more in the dining hall, the two most popular responses were local food (meaning fresh, locally purchased food) and Italian food.

The survey revealed that many people want to eat healthier. It asked various questions relating to healthy choices and health of the respondents.  Fifty-two women in our sample wanted to have nutrition facts on the food in the dining hall, but the difference between men and women responses was not significant. We found that the average BMI for our sample was 24.82. With a normal healthy score of 18.5 to 22.9, on average the student respondents were considered overweight by general BMI standards.

Overall, the results show that students are largely satisfied with the new Hodson Hall dining experience.   The waiting times are short and the majority of students are satisfied with the service and the food.

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