In-house sorority dining resumes this year with many changes

Some sororities have opted for an external chef service instead of university-provided dining, which has prompted mixed reviews.


Half of the sororities are sticking with university-provided dining, which has updated menus and operations. Photo by Nina Gallagher ‘23.

Nina Gallagher

After a year-long shutdown during the 2020-21 school year due to the coronavirus pandemic,  in-house sorority dining is back up and running at Washington and Lee University with many new improvements.

Delta Society, Chi Omega and Kappa Kappa Gamma decided to stick with the university-provided sorority dining. But members of Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi opted for dining through College Chefs, an external food service for sororities and fraternities.

Pi Beta Phi House Director Reevie Fenstermacher, ’23, said she has loved having College Chefs  as a dining option this year. She is very excited that her sorority opted for the external food service instead of the university-provided dining, she said.

“We decided to go this route because we wanted to explore our options and have more independence with dietary choices,” Fenstermacher said. “With College Chefs, it’s easier to  customize each meal and get everything out of it that we want.”

Although there are many aspects of College Chefs that sorority women like, some are displeased with the inconvenient hours of the food service.

“The only thing that’s annoying is that dinner only runs from five to six, which is super inconvenient for a lot of people,” said Alpha Delta Pi member Emilee  Becker,  ‘24. “We can request a plate after dinner hours, but it’s a random assortment of food that you may not actually like.”

Many changes to university-provided sorority dining have also been made.

According to the Executive Director of Auxiliary Services K.C. Schaefer, sorority dining now  has an executive chef and expanded culinary team, healthier menu choices, later meal requests, breakfast once a week and a greater variety of pantry items.

“Feedback about the new changes has been very positive so far,” Schaefer said.

The university also convened a sorority dining advisory group, with two or three representatives from each of the houses who meet with the chef about once per month.

“The feedback from that group has been really good,” Schaefer said. “People are really

pleased with the new direction and how it’s going.”

Delta Society member Lulu Lyle, ’24, said she loves how convenient sorority  dining is this year. All she has to do to eat is walk downstairs.

“I eat the majority of my meals at the house with the exception of maybe three meals  a week,” said Lyle.

Many of the plans to improve sorority dining were made prior to this year. However, sorority dining was shifted to Evans Hall last year due to the pandemic, delaying the implementation of these improvements.

“We’re restarting things after a layoff, which is always an interesting process as far as getting  things back off the ground,” Schaefer said. “There was a year and a half process where sorority women didn’t eat on sorority row. It’s tough adjusting to people’s new expectations of where they dine.”

In terms of plans for sorority dining next year, Schaefer doesn’t expect any major changes.

“Overall, we’re going to try to hone in and refine what we’re doing,” he said. “We are very  responsive to student’s opinions and will make changes accordingly.”