SGA discusses Dining Services concerns

Meghan Farley

The Student Government Association invited representatives from Dining Services to its town hall meeting on Feb. 8 to discuss dining issues that are at the forefront of students’ concerns. 

Student Body President Dan Gelwicks welcomed SGA Dining Services Chairs Meghan Williams and Jeff Savio to lead the meeting. Williams and Savio introduced Tim Dietzler, director of Dining Services, to discuss students’ ideas about dining options, meal plans and food presentation.

Dietzler opened with a few comments thanking the Dining Services staff and informing  SGA that Dining Services has never had to close due to a snow storm. While selections for meals may be limited, there has always been some food available. 

“We know that students rely on the dining halls to eat, so we make every effort to provide them with food during a snow storm,” Dietzler said.

Dietzler encouraged students to express their opinions on the food being served to give Dining Services a clearer idea of what works and what doesn’t.

“Dining Services has been working hard to incorporate your suggestions into what we do,” Dietzler said. “We appreciate constructive criticism. We want the comments that say, ‘We don’t like this,’ as well as ‘I like that this has been changed.'”

Also present at the meeting were Dining Services Nutritionist Gail Gamble and Patricia Bommer-Beck the general manager of Belle Air Terrace, Energy Zone, Falvey and Connelly Holy Grounds and Reel Divine. They both contributed to addressing the SGA members’ questions and concerns.

At the top of students’ list of concerns was the issue of healthy food options at Late Nite in Belle Air Terrace. 

Multiple SGA members conveyed that not all students want to eat fried food after hours. 

“I’m no expert, but I’m sure there are healthier things to serve than chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks,” one SGA member said.

Pre-made sandwiches, packaged fresh fruit and grilled chicken were among the suggestions for healthier selections.

Breakfast selections in Dougherty Hall were also important topics at the meeting. 

SGA members expressed students’ desire for more breakfast options than just cereal, omelettes and bagels. 

An SGA member conveyed concern about the presentation of the eggs in the morning, saying that they often looked “gross because they look wet and mushy.” 

Egg presentation will be evaluated and eggs will be rotated more often in the future, according to Dietzler.

Additionally, SGA members welcomed the return of Marshmallow Mateys, but reminded Dietzler that cereal often runs out throughout the day. 

When asked if there was any cereal in particular that needed special attention to be restocked, a member replied, “Anything frosted.”

SGA members also expressed satisfaction with various suggestions that have been realized in the past months. 

For example, higher quality sushi is now available in Belle Air Terrace. 

“I’m definitely willing to pay a dollar or so more for the sushi,” commented an SGA member. “It’s so much better now.”

Additionally, soy milk made available in Dougherty Hall is also appreciated by those with lactose intolerance. 

The Dining Services committee within SGA works closely with Dietzler and the other Dining Services administrators to ensure students’ voices are heard and needs are met.

Suggestions from students are always welcomed in order to make dining more enjoyable, according to Dietzler.