A Conversation with Berger-Sweeney on the Health Benefits of Mather

3 min read

Hungry ’24

Not a Chartwell’s Employee

It is evident that Trinity has recently undergone many improvement initiatives. It has even been questioned as to why Trinity is setting out to improve certain buildings rather than renovating and fixing the old dormitories across campus. One of the improvement plans which received the most attention was the renovation completed at Mather Dining Hall this past year. Any Trinity student who has experienced Mather Dining Hall and its wide assortment of culinary options, agrees on the fact that it is an experience unto itself and the food is possibly one of the most controversial aspects to Trinity’s campus life and culture. Considering the fact that many students were enthused about the promised Mather face lift, upon its reopening, it became clear that the Mather renovation was simply that, a face lift, and there was no improvement to the variety offered or even the food itself. Instead, the same slightly raw chicken, “mystery meat” and unwashed lettuce remain staples to the Mather Hall dining experience.

In conversation with President Joanne Berger-Sweeney regarding the Mather initiative and why there was no evident change in the cuisine, she noted that the menu she has worked on with Chartwell’s provides “immeasurable health benefits to the students.” Furthermore, she noted that Mather food has been linked to “academic success and excellence.” While this may seem shocking to many Trinity students, who have themselves witnessed the food poisoning, bacteria and stomach issues resulting from the consumption of Mather food options, Berger-Sweeney argued that Trinity conducted a study regarding the academic achievement of students in comparison with their food sourcing and the frequency at which they eat their meals at Mather. She stated, “The correlation is undeniable and that is why we promoted the Mather renovation initiative to make Mather more appealing to students of all grades after we noticed a considerable decline in the number of upperclassmen who choose to no longer eat at Mather after they are no longer required to.” During our interview, she even hinted at the notion of replacing The Cave and The Bistro with satellite Mather locations to further encourage students to eat the super food Chartwell’s has designed for Mather Dining Hall. She claimed that the food “builds the immune systems of students by exposing them to natural bacteria.” She also claimed that the structure of the dining options at Trinity are not at all to the detriment of the students. Rather, despite its level of controversy, Trinity’s administration has committed itself to the betterment of students health and has promised to attempt and remove the prevalence of viruses on campus based on natural exposure and strengthened biological immune systems.

While this may come as a shock to many Trinity students, clear answers have been provided regarding the intentions behind Trinity’s improvement initiatives. Berger-Sweeney also noted that she hopes this exposure to the benefits of Mather Dining Hall and its menu will provide incentive for more students to go to Mather and boost their health in order to excel academically.

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