Clarkson University strives to offer a variety of food to fit the needs and desires of all students. Our goal is to ignite a passion for food with an emphasis on providing innovative dining solutions that positively impact student success, health and fitness, and community engagement.
Here is your guide to the Clarkson dining basics, as well as information on all of the great dining initiatives we have here on campus!
What is a campus meal plan?
There are 6 different meal plans offered here on campus, most of which are resident plans and a single voluntary plan for those who live off-campus or live in on-campus apartments (which have personal kitchens). Meal plans allow students to go to any dining location and use board meals/meal swipes or their declining balance for meals.
Terms to Know
Before we get into the different dining locations let’s go over some meal terms to know.
Declining Balance (DB)- These are dining dollars that you can spend at any of our campus dining locations. You can add to your DB at any time. DB rolls over from the fall to spring semester and can be used until commencement in May. Many students will use their DB at Schuler’s or at Java Stop for their morning cup of coffee but can be used at any location for a full meal.
Board Meals- These can be used to enter RoBro Dining Hall for an all-you-care-to-eat meal or as a “meal equivalency” swipe at designated retail dining venues. This plan resets each week on Saturday mornings. “Meal equivalency” is defined at each location but typically includes the desired meal, a beverage, and a side. All locations that accept board meals can be found on the dining website and are designated below for your convenience.
Block Meals- These allow you the same privileges as board meals, however, block meals have a designated number of meals (determined by your meal plan) that declines as you use them during the semester.
Meal Swipe/Equivalency- Students will often use the term “meal swipe” to refer to meal equivalencies, which include both block meals and board meals.
KnightCard- The Knight Card program is a prepaid, declining balance account that is part of your Knight Card (student ID). It is a convenient, cashless way to pay for your purchases on and off campus. Once funded, simply swipe your card as a method of payment at participating locations. With no fees, no chance to overdraft, and no chance of accumulating credit card debt, the Knight Card is a great budgeting tool! Prior to each term, you will have the option of opting into the program based on predetermined increments ($100, $250, $750, or $1000). Should you choose to be part of the Knight Card program these funds will go into a special account up to one week prior to the beginning of the term (separate from your tuition account) that can then be used at The University Bookstore, on-campus vending machines and at many local off-campus vendors. Whenever a purchase is made using the card, the purchase amount will be deducted from the available balance. Want to know where you can use your KnightCard off-campus? Check out Clarkson’s handy Instagram guide.
Meal Plan Recommended for Incoming First-Year Students
The Golden Knight
This plan provides 21 board meals per week plus $25 in DB that can be used in any retail dining destination on campus. This plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Saturday morning through Friday evening. This plan is highly recommended for incoming first-year students. For details on all meal plans, check out our dining website!
What are the dining locations on campus and what do they offer?
RoBro Dining Hall (M-F 7am-8:30pm, Sat/Sun 9am-8:30pm)
Ross-Brooks Dining Hall (RoBro) is Clarkson’s only all-you-care-to-eat dining destination. Students and community members will find comfort food favorites, vegan and vegetarian offers, salad bar, deli, pizza, and grill. You will also find our award-winning Simple Servings platform free of the top 7 allergens. RoBro is often a campus favorite dining location and is extremely convenient for our freshman students as it is situated between first-year residence halls Ross and Brooks.
Payment options: Meal equivalency, DB, Knight Card, Credit Card
Student Center Servery (M-F 7:30am-8pm, 8:30pm-11:30pm; Sat/Sun 11am-8pm, 8:30pm-11:30pm)
The Servery, nicknamed “Serv” by students, sits on the second floor of the student center making it the easiest dining location for an in-between class or study session meal! The Servery features a variety of highly customizable menu options designed to be served fresh and fast to keep students going throughout the day. Clarkson community members will enjoy soups, salads, paninis, pasta, stir-fry, grilled items, and more! The Servery is open for late-night service. It’s the perfect destination for late-night study breaks or to meet with friends.
Payment options: Meal equivalency, DB, KnightCard, Credit Card
Marketplace (M-F 7:30am-7:30pm)
Marketplace offers freshly made-to-order sandwiches and wraps, breakfast sandwiches, fresh bagels, and a quick grab-and-go option for those on the go. Marketplace also features DeIORIOS pizza, sold by the slice or as a combo meal.
Payment Options: Meal equivalency, DB, Knight Card, Credit Card
Schuler’s (M-F 7:30am-3:30pm)
Schuler’s, located on the first floor of the ERC, features Starbucks We Proudly Brew, Teavana Teas, Simply to Go items, parfaits, fruit cups, freshly baked pastries, and more!
Payment options: DB, KnightCard, Credit Card
Distefano’s Family Cafe (M-F 11am-4pm)
Distefano’s Family Cafe features various dining stations: Stacked Subs & Salads, The Carving Board, and the Knight’s Table Grill. Distefano’s Family Cafe is located in the Cheel Campus Center.
Payment Options: meal equivalency, DB, Knight Card, Credit Card
Java Stop (M-F 7:30am-3pm)
While not technically a dining location, Java Stop is a student-run business located in Snell atrium. They serve coffee, specialty drinks, bagels, baked goods, and more! They are always adding to the menu and hosting weekly deals.
Payment Options: Cash, Knight Card, DB, Apple Pay, Debit/Credit
Need a visual? Here is our Campus Dining Tour video!
What if I have allergies or dietary restrictions?
Clarkson Dining and Catering takes pride in sourcing wholesome ingredients, preparing recipes accurately, and providing nutritional analysis and ingredient statements in our dining locations, and through our online menus on the Everyday App. We are also passionate about serving Clarkson students. Our managers complete AllertrainU, an Allergen & Gluten-free Food Service Certified Training, and are ServSafe Certified. We work diligently to address students’ specific needs, especially those with food allergies, Celiac disease, or special diet needs.
Talk to Us!
We want to meet one-on-one with all of our customers who have individual dining needs to ensure that your dining experience is safe, delicious, and social. Students with specific meal-related concerns can receive assistance on an individual basis, directly with our Executive Chef, Amy Conger. We can also arrange meetings with a Sodexo Dietitian that can include one-on-one consultations, a review of the resources currently in place, a tour of the dining facilities, and menu planning.
A dining option that provides safe and appetizing food choices for customers with food allergies, gluten intolerance, or other special dietary needs. The Simple Servings station offers simply prepared foods made without the seven most common allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, milk products, and eggs. In addition, all foods are made without gluten and controlled for cross-contamination. Separate equipment, utensils, storage areas, and preparation areas minimize the risk, offering customers a safe and healthy dining option. Simple Servings is located in RoBro Dining Hall.
Can I still eat at a dining hall if I live off-campus?
Yes! All dining locations take credit cards for those who may not be on a meal plan. There is also a voluntary meal plan option available to undergraduate and graduate students who are living in campus apartments/townhouses or for those living off-campus. It includes 50 block meals and $500 in DB. The meals and DB roll over from the fall semester to the spring semester. The Pioneer can be purchased as many times as needed during the academic year.
What sustainability efforts does Clarkson have regarding food waste?
We provide compost buckets and instructions on what you can compost. This food waste is taken to our food waste digestor to turn it into energy! For more information on the Food Waste Digestor, watch this video.
Does Clarkson Dining host events or specials?
Yes! During the year Clarkson Dining hosts various events such as Late Night Pancakes with President Christensen, Sensational Sushi with Chef Amy, Super Bowl Sunday Specials and so much more! We even have pop-up events with our campus dietician. All of these events are posted on our Instagram!
For more information on dining locations, meal plan, and allergies/intolerances visit our website! To hear about events/specials or to take part in menu polls follow our Instagram at ClarksonDiningandCatering.