CBU tops national rankings

California Baptist University has been ranked No. 1 for the best dorms in the nation with Simmons Hall and Smith Hall, as well as received the No. 3 ranking for best campus food in the nation.

According to Niche.com, thousands of students reviewed and ranked college campuses based on factors such as the campus housing safety, healthy living environment and a reasonable price. According to the website, a high ranking for the best campus food indicates CBU offers a variety of healthy, quality food options that accommodate various dietary preferences and that the students are happy with the quality of campus food.

Pomona College, Biola University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Notre Dame were other top contenders.

Henty Van Der Merwe, senior applied theology major and the community adviser for Smith Hall, said the dorms deserved first place for building a community.

“The (resident advisers) do a really good job connecting the different guys in our hall and being intentional about meeting with the guys on a regular basis,” Van Der Merwe said.

Four statistics were used in the process of determining the rankings of the best dorms, including the average housing cost, housing capacity, student housing crime rate and student surveys on campus housing.

Anna Gober, freshman pre-nursing major, said she appreciates the cleanliness of the dorms as well as the relationships she has built.

“It is really a great community with great people,” Gober said. “I found my best friends in the dorm, and everyone does a really good job in cleaning up; it’s a clean environment. All my friends came to visit and they loved that we had sinks in the bedroom and they thought our closets were really big. Compared to other schools, I think (the dorms are) really nice.”

The qualifications for ranking high for the best campus food out of 1,175 colleges is based on meal plan cost with more than 470,000 opinions from 64,000 students around the United States.

Kipp Dougherty, director of food services, said the team of food service professionals is excited that the food at CBU was ranked highly and wants people to feel as if they are in their favorite restaurant and not just in a cafeteria.

“It’s a student-driven survey, so of course we’re here to serve the students, and that they would rate us that high is really exciting for us,” Dougherty said. “We feel we have a quality program, so we have a very chef-centered and service-centered approach. Because we approach it as a restaurant as opposed to a food facility, we have stayed current with the trends on restaurants and we have chefs that design the menu and focus in on our food.”

Dougherty said the food service watches trends to see what is most popular with students. “We have a very diverse menu and diverse campus so we try to stay on top of global foods,” Dougherty said.

A part of the criteria for having a high rating on the website includes having an accommodation for various dietary preferences and needs.

“From a culinary approach, (we want) to help those students mainstream with the rest of the students but have food that tastes great,” Dougherty said. “Just because you have diet restrictions doesn’t mean that food has to lack in flavor.”

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