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New SFU dining facility has hungry students covered

Simon Fraser University unveiled its state of the art dining commons for its students, with a heavy focus on sustainability and providing variety of international cuisine options.

The ultimate collegiate crisis: craving a midnight snack while pulling an all-nighter and staring down an empty pantry.

University students know the pain of pulling all-nighters with nothing to sate their midnight food cravings.

On Aug. 29, Simon Fraser University (SFU) Burnaby campus unveiled its 28,000-square-foot state of the art dining room, focusing on accessibility, affordability, sustainability and diversity.

Having both patio and mezzanine levels, the new dining commons can seat more than 800 students and their friends and has increased access of electrical outlets and WiFi for the students plugging away on their assignments in the cafeteria.

In a statement to Glacier Media, SFU chief commercial services officer Mark McLaughlin said that the expansion is part of the Phase 2 SFU student residence and housing plan, which aims to add more student beds in the dormitory to address the housing market strains on the students over the next 10 years.

“The dining commons is part of our campus master plan to add significant number of additional housing for students on campus,” McLaughlin said to Glacier Media. “It's going to address not only the students living in residence this year, but we've built extra capacity as we go, grow it and build out more residences. There'll be a sufficient capacity for the next 10 years or so.”

Variety and healthy eating for the students

The new dining commons, which opens on Sept. 6 for the fall semester, has a wide variety of options for the students.

The in-house dietician's help can guide students to make informed decisions about their dining options.

Catering to all diets and food preferences, the expansion has 10 culinary stations, ranging from a Teppanyaki- style hot plate grill to vegetarian/vegan options.

For students looking to make their own Masterchef creations, there is going to be a customizable pasta bar and a create-your-own-omelet station in addition to a DIY kitchen with a wide range of ingredients and kitchen tools.

Global cuisine is one of the standouts for the expansion, and Minister of Advanced Education and Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA Anne Kang addressed the diversity and inclusivity in cuisine in a conversation with Glacier Media.

“Burnaby is such a multicultural community," she said. "And so in the student dining hall, you can see that there is a wide variety of food from Asian food to African food  to Western food, West Coast food, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian choices.

“There is so much to choose from,” she said.

For those with allergies and food sensitivities, the university also has options for allergy-free meals and made without gluten pantry.

The university also aims to opt for a more sustainable facility, featuring reusable cutlery, eliminating the use of single use plastics.

Forty per cent of their ingredients are claimed to be locally sourced in B.C, and all wastage of food will be composted, according to the university’s statement to the media.

The state-of-the-art facility was also built environmentally conscious. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold building and its dining tables are made with sustainable Canadian wood.

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