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Mixed menu, opinions at
Dining Commons brunch

by Mohammed Faisal, staff writer


Sunday mornings for many HPU students can be challenging. After a long school week and a traditional Saturday night blow out, Sunday morning thoughts of eating—let alone finding something to eat—can be daunting.

For students who live at or near the Hawai‘i Loa campus, finding something to eat is easy: the Dining Commons offers a Sunday brunch, and it’s open to everyone.

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The Dining Commons welcomes diners at 10.30 a.m. every Sunday and serves brunch through 11:30. Located next to the student dormitories, the dining area is large, clean, and airy—literally, as there are outdoor as well as indoor tables.

Brunch is “all you can eat” for $4.50. Typical breakfast items such as eggs and rice (OK, typical for Hawai‘i), fresh fruits, tea, and coffee are served every Sunday. Other breakfast foods such as sausage, bacon, waffles, pancakes, French toast, bagels, and pastries are served on a rotating basis.

Kalei Place, a student manager, greeted my visit to the Dining Commons one Sunday in October. She and her supervisor, Charles Ah-loo, were enthusiastic about their young customers. “We want the students happy!” said Place.

“In the past we have received complaints about the quality of the food and the quantity,” Place added. “We have been working hard and trying new things to keep students happy!”

The most significant effort has been a new cook, but other things, such as increasing the amount of food available, have also been looked into. Now, Place said, more food is kept in reserve, so if something does run out, more can brought out.

Students, however, had mixed responses. While some agree that the food has improved, many doubt that they are getting good value for their money. “It’s not worth the amount we spend on housing” said one student, referring to the fact that HPU provides meals to all students who pay for housing. Some students, like Sarah Raffaelli, admit that the brunch is a little bit better than it was in the past, but insist that still more improvements have to be made.

“The problem is not what they serve, but the fact that what they serve is repeated too many times!” said Pritpal Aujla, a student from California. Feedback from other students was similar. “I get the feeling that they sometime serve leftovers!” said Michael Kazma, a student from London.

“The food should be kept at the same temperature; then at least it will taste good!” said Billy Roch, from O‘ahu.

According to Place, the crew at the Dining Commons is working hard to overcome many of these issues. As Shane Pilon, an HPU student put it, “At least the food here is edible, and that is better than at other schools!!” Mohammed Faisal is a new staff writer at Kalamalama. Comments or questions can be e-mailed to him at


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