Today: May 22, 2024

Stay food-conscious at Conn Hall

Lauren Drenckhahn – Online Editor 

This fall, Southern’s dining facilities are stepping up. Connecticut Hall, Southern’s main dining hall, is encouraging students to make healthy choices in more ways than one.

Amy Cosciello, grad-student at Southern, says she has dined at Conn Hall for four years and has witnessed renovations.

“I am pleased to see the positive changes it has brought to its students,” she said.

In fact, it’s no surprise that Southern’s campus dining has earned an A- on The grade is earned from reviews by Southern students on all dining facilities on campus; it is based on ratings of availability, value, ethnic and kosher options, late-night options, and healthy and organic options.

With the help of Chartwell’s Resident District Manager, Danny Dawkins, a list of responsible and health-conscious pointers is suggested to new or returning students to keep in mind when dining at Conn Hall.


Look for “Healthy Picks”

Conn Hall’s options were designed by the University Nutritionist, Doreen Kordorsky, in cooperation with the Health and Wellness Center, the Fitness Center and Chartwells, to help you along your journey at college in creating a healthy diet.

There are nine stations set up throughout the dining room in collaboration with “Healthy Picks,” including the bread rack, cereal, omelet, baked potato, stir fry, pizza, sandwich, salad, and dessert stations. Each station provides information which include tips to reduce fat and calories and add more fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy to your diet.

“There are many good nutritional options such as the salad bar and daily veggies,” said Cosciello.

Dawkins, explained that at every station, there is a healthier option available. Instead of sausage and stacks of syrup-smothered buttermilk pancakes, there is a section besides it which provides a variety of healthy alternatives. Some of which include whole wheat pancakes, turkey bacon, and cage-free, certified humane scrambled eggs. Also, you may want to skip the soda machines and try out the “Hydration Stations” that have five different fruit infused waters. Conn Hall offers 7-grain and whole wheat bread, garden burgers, and a masterful buffet of veggies that you can choose to have sauteed in the stir fry station. Finally, after all of those wholesome options, you can finish off your meal with frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit!

Speak directly with a dietitian.

Doreen Kordorsky R.D., is available to accommodate you with your dietary restrictions and/or help you create a healthy meal plan. Conn Hall offers a gluten-free menu, called the “Fresh Bread Program” in which they make fresh, gluten free bread daily. They also provide a variety of options for vegans and vegetarians. Ashley Kellner, senior at Southern, says she was pleasantly surprised with the selection: “Being a vegetarian, I was worried that when I came to school, there wouldn’t be many options. I was glad to find that at Conn Hall, there was food that met my needs and it was easy to make healthy meal choices.”

Read the labels.

They also have a Product Identifier System (P.I.D.) which allows you to see nutritional information for each entree including the caloric intake and sodium levels. So take your time and look around. “It can be very overwhelming at first,” says Dawkins, “and what happens is, when something’s overwhelming you go straight for the comfort foods and then you don’t see the nutritional options available.”

Control your portions.

“Although it’s an all-you-can-eat location, you don’t want to eat all at one time,” says Dawkins. Experts always recommend that you have smaller meals throughout the course of the day. Treat it just like your own kitchen; stop by for breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack and then dinner. Conn Hall is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. They offer the omelet station from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., the deli is available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the grill is available from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. After 8 p.m. they have a “Late Night Menu” which includes options like the grill, pizza, a late night Deli and Salad Bar, and yogurt or fruit. So round out your schedule and make time to refuel in smaller increments.

Check out the menu online.

Take advantage of technology and find out what Conn Hall is cooking while you’re planning your day. At, Southern has a program which they call “Webtrition” which allows you to view the menu options from that day on your computer or smartphone, so —bookmark it!

Send in your favorite recipe.

If you are not interested in what they’re cooking up, send in your own recipes at the website (click on the tab “Be Heard,” “Recipes,” and then “Submit a Recipe”). This option is perfect if you’re missing your favorite healthy recipe or home-cooked meal and want to share it with the rest of us at Southern!

Ask! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Think of everyone at Conn Hall as a resource who is willing to help! Dawkins says he is hoping to work with the university executive chef to train seniors how to “dine on a dime” once they leave campus. “Everything is available for you, I think Conn Hall has become very informative.” Kellner says.

For more information visit or to schedule a tour through Conn Hall call Doreen Kordorsky R.D. at 203-392-6304 or email her at

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