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Do students like the dining situation at Amherst?

1023college1023college Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited October 2005 in Amherst College
My son is seriously considering Amherst as his top choice. We had a great visit there, and he likes the open curriculum. He's a little worried though that the dining hall is going to be like a high school cafeteria. We live in a University town, and so he's seen the different eating options at a larger place, and he just wonders how this would be. Any students out there with some insights? Thanks.
Post edited by 1023college on

Replies to: Do students like the dining situation at Amherst?

  • tansytrolltansytroll Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    I really like Val (Valentine), although I know that a lot of people think it's mediocre. After visiting many other colleges last year, I think that Valentine is awesome. In high school, we had pretty gross food (came boxed and frozen, then the school deep-fried it all.) But here, it's all made from scratch in the cafeteria. One of the things that I like is the fact that parents and family can send in recipes to the Val, and they will make it.

    Let's see...there are generally 4 different lines with about 8 different course options (vegan and vegetarian options included.) There's pasta, pizza, traditional, and grill. There's also cereal for all meals and a salad bar and sandwich bar for lunch and dinner. Although the seating options are pretty much one room, there are sort of partitions that separate 4 sections downstairs and sort of 3 sections upstairs. Therefore, I find it very unlike high school.

    If you get tired of Val, you can use your AC dollars ($ put on card to pay for laundry or food) to buy something at Schwemm's Coffee House. They have sandwiches, chips, desserts, wraps, personal pizzas. You can order pizza or wings practically anytime you want. At the beginning of the year all of the delivery food places in the surrounding area drop off coupons for everybody, so for the first few weeks the mail is filled with all kinds of flyers. Antonio's is the famous pizza place in town (just about 2 blocks from campus.) It really is very good.

    To sum it up, I don't feel limited at all. I mostly eat at Val, but I eat elsewhere too.
  • frolikfrolik Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    i'd say it's mediocre.
    i also think that the quality of the dining service isnt even remotely as important as the presence of an open curriculum.
  • 1023college1023college Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thanks for these 2 posts about the food/dining at Amherst. Yes, I agree (and so does my son) that there are more important considerations in choosing a college. It was just something he was curious about.
  • frolikfrolik Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    what i like about it is that it actually is an open curriculum. i know, for example, someone who hasn't taken and isn't going to take any courses outside of math/compsci/econ., which would be impossible in another LAC.
    i don't think many people realize how nice this feature of Amherst is - you can do whatever you want with your courses
  • bogororobogororo Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Yeah, complete freedom is the name of the game. You're responsible for your choices, of course, so you won't be able to place the blame on that pesky distribution requirement for not taking that oh-so-nice course afterwards.
  • ahobbitinsideahobbitinside Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    I also second the opinion that Val food is just average. Out of the four colleges I visited, Amherst had the second worst food. However, it is edible, and sometimes tasty, but it has this tendency to disappear after about an hour.
  • CynthiaRCynthiaR Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    Val isn't bad. I tried the food at most of the colleges I visited, and I found it to be among the better ones. They have several things that are quite good, most things are okay, not much is really bad. It can get a touch repetitive, but then you learn to be creative with the options and salad bar stuff. Some people are especially talented at this and come up with things that actually look delicious, when everyone else is eating blah pasta for the 3rd evening in a row.
    There are sooo many good places to eat in town though, and they are all a very short walk...pizza, italian, chinese, thai, burritos, mexican...mmmmm
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