by Denae McGaha, Guest Writer

If you are what you eat, students are in for a transformation.
This year, students will notice changes in dining options such as extended Commons hours, a smoothie bar at Tahoma Bakery and Café and nearby off-campus dining alternatives.
Central to campus, the Commons dining service is open for dinner until 8:30 p.m., an hour later than last year. Junior Abbie Johnson, a longtime Dining And Culinary Services employee, finds merit in the change. She recognizes it allows more flexibility for students with busy schedules.
Johnson says the extended mealtime caters to a more solitary atmosphere, as many students who use the extra hour come in by themselves.
Johnson’s Commons coworker, junior Amber Stokes, observes that fewer students come during that final hour, making it a quieter time to get dinner.
Anything but mellow during a rush, the Tahoma Bakery and Café now offers a smoothie bar. Already popular among students, the smoothie bar offers a wide range of flavors and supplements. Stokes views the smoothie bar as convenient and its options as plentiful and healthy.
From a fruity treat to a meal replacement protein shake, students can personalize their smoothies to cater to their nutrition or their sweet tooth or both. Track athlete Dominique Jackson finds sustaining options in many of the smoothies, especially thanks to the variety of natural supplements. Even as the evening hours at Tahoma have been cut to make way for the extended time in the Commons, the new smoothie bar has opened up Tahoma to a whole new world of possibilities.
More possibilities for off-campus dining are now available. The newly opened Pan-Asian Cuisine restaurant and Warthog Barbeque Pit are both within a five minute walk from campus, located on Pacific Avenue.
First year Emma Bauman has already deemed the food at the Pit as delicious. Describing it as likable and affordable, sophomore Emma Southard says the Warthog Barbeque Pit offers students country-style cuisine. A tip from Southard, get your timing right and you could have your choice of one of the Pit’s daily homemade pies, fresh from the oven.
As this new school year starts, the new culinary options on and around campus are sure to offer students new dining experiences.

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