Dining & Auxiliary Services

Barriers:

The dining program on campus does not reflect the wants and needs of students, as students are not adequately represented in the decision-making process. Currently, Dining & Auxiliary Services does not provide adequate forums for engagement, and their existing forums are not well-publicized. Administrators shaping dining policy also struggle to take feedback without getting offended, making it difficult for students to engage and clearly communicate their grievances. Students don’t understand how and why dining policies are made.  

Policies:

Expanding meal plan flexibility:

  • Expand off-campus options, either in the form of student discounts or the increased acceptance of Flex Dollars.
  • Expand the availability of block plans.
  • Expand meal exchange options-- allow for more dining locations to accept meal swipes.
  • Introduce the option to add-on flex dollars.
  • Make permanent the Hoya Court meal exchange program.

Social justice, sustainability, and equal access to dining:

  • Create stipends or alternate meal options for students who stay on campus. during breaks and still need access to food.
  • Continue supporting food composting at Leo’s.
  • Continue advocacy for workers at Leo’s, Epicurean, Einstein’s, and Hoya Court.
  • Be more public about sanitary standards in the Leo’s kitchen.

Planning for the future of dining:

  • Work closely with Dining & Auxiliary Services to include student input throughout the dining contract re-negotiation process.
  • Work with Auxiliary Services to host an ‘open house’ for potential contractors.
  • Engage students in the process to rethink the structure and style of Leo’s.
  • Push for the construction of a second dining hall or equivalent meal-plan-accessible dining location.
  • Advocate for the inclusion of fast-casual dining options in the Student Life Corridor.

Improving the dining experience in the short term:

  • Expanding weekend and off-hour options by pushing for:
  • Opening Grab-N-Go on weekends.
  • Expanding weekend options at Leo’s, including, but not limited to, opening of the wok and pasta lines.
  • Opening the top floor of Leo’s during non-meal periods.
  • Improving customer service at Bulldog Tavern by working with Bon Appetit management to:
    • Establish consistent and longer open hours.
    • Post Bulldog Tavern job openings on the student employment website.
    • Host better and more types of late-night programming.
    • Make the Bulldog Tavern Advisory Committee more accessible to the public.
    • Work with management to offer cheap beer pitchers.
    • Revamp the aesthetic appeal of the area around the takeout window and offer an easier way for takeout customers to get quick attention.
  • Rethink Grab-N-Go experience to include reusable to-go boxes at Leo’s.

Improving the bookstore experience:

  • Better publicize price-matching system and expand the price-matching cash-back period.
  • Lengthen the loosened book return policy that’s during the add/drop period.
  • Engage students in the bookstore structure re-envisioning process, including student input for the upcoming bookstore dining option.

Addressing mail consolidation:

  • Ensure equivalent jobs for students who lose their current jobs in the mail consolidation process. Check out our full student worker platform here.
  • Create focus groups to engage students in determining the best use of freed up RHO space.
  • Explore options for preserving easy access for key loss & lockouts in dorms.
  • Make sure there’s no decrease in the quality of service and length of lines at the new consolidated mail location.
  • Ensure easy access to new consolidated mail location for students with demonstrated disabilities & explore the possibility of a delivery service.

Bridges:

With the upcoming expiry of the Aramark dining contract, students must be included in the new dining contract selection process. Dining and Auxiliary Services’ current Dining Committee needs to be re-purposed so that its agenda reflects topics that matter to students. We aim to organize frequent student-run administration-supported dining town halls in order to create a direct channel of communication between students and administrators. The creation of an anonymous online feedback forum monitored by both GUSA and Dining and Auxiliary services will ensure a clear continuous communication method. Furthermore, we plan on working with the Leo’s marketing team to better focus and target how Leo’s communicates dining updates.