Dining Hall introduces music to provide ambiance

Meredith Stafford, staff writer

Recently, the Dining Hall has introduced music to students’ dining experience. Students are able to select songs that they want to hear through the app Rockbot.

“The dining services added music to the Dining Hall to enhance the ambiance based on student and administrative suggestions and those were conversations that were had basically from when I started,” Ian Mungo, General Manager of Dining Services, said. 

Rockbot is a digital jukebox that students can download on their phones. According to Mungo, it was chosen to allow dining hall guests the ability to select their own music through a digital app. Mungo said that he has used this program in the past at other campuses.

“So far, it’s been very popular,” Mungo said. “It’s brought an uplifting and interactive element to the dining hall.”

Meredith Olsson, junior, said that she was surprised when the Dining Hall first began playing music, but that she liked the change.

“I think that it adds, like, a nice sense of ambiance,” Olsson said. “It makes it fun to sit by yourself and just eat food.”

Olsson said that while not every song and genre choice appeals to her, she respects that everyone has different tastes. 

“I love music, so sometimes a song will come on and I’ll just vibe while I’m eating my food,” Olsson said. “It’s a good time.”

Olsson also enjoys that students are able to choose the music that is played. Despite being largely positive about the addition, Olsson is concerned that the addition of student chosen songs could get slightly out of hand.

Similarly, freshman Camille Schmied was excited for the change and initially enjoyed it as background noise in the Dining Hall.

“I’m one of those people where I can’t stand dead silence in the background,” Schmied said. “So, like, when I would go into D-Hall by myself early in the mornings or during light lunch, when there’s like nobody in there, I’d always have to wear my earbuds, because they didn’t have music playing and then there wasn’t a lot of talking, because there weren’t a lot of people in there.”

Schmied enjoys the involvement of students in the use of Rockbot and was happy that the app is open to both Samsung and Apple users to download. She also is excited about the variety of choices in music. 

According to Schmied, one drawback of the addition is the volume of the music and its distraction from conversations.

“Sometimes they play it a little too loud, especially when it’s really busy in there,” Schmied said. “So then, when I’m trying to have a conversation with my friend, I can barely hear them over the music and all of the people that are in there.”

Schmied believes that this new feature could be improved by keeping the music at a moderate level. 

“I think they could be just a little more consistent with the volume of the music,” Schmied said. “Like, don’t turn up the music when there’s a ton of people in D-Hall.”

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