To hear student complaints and opinions, the Campus Living Council will hold a forum in the Hoke dining room Feb. 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Jessica Taylor, the unit marketing coordinator for dining services, started the council and held their first meeting last September. Taylor said the council helps dining plan events, discuss new features, taste new recipes and enjoy free food.
“My goal for the council is to make students feel empowered to discuss their thoughts about GC dining,” Taylor said. “We want them to be excited about upcoming events, new products and new programs.”
Seunghye Yeon is a senior biology major who would like to join the council. She has a 10 meal per week plan and enjoys hamburgers, salads and grilled dishes from the Max.
“I am glad there is a group for dining services,” Yeon said. “[Students] must be able to enjoy dishes as much as the students pay.”
Although she likes some dishes at the Max, Yeon said students would benefit from more food for longer hours. This would help students that eat later in the day, she said.
According to Taylor, the council has 6 to 10 students per meeting but hopes the number will increase to around 12 involved and returning students.
“Whether they come to one meeting or every meeting, just being there will help us,” Taylor said. “Even if it is a short email with their feedback, that also helps us.”
The best responses, according to General Manager Brian Losonsky, are specific and actionable explanations of what students do not like about dining.
“We want to create a positive change for the dining program,” Losonsky said. “We can take pieces of everybody’s feedback and try to implement it into the program to achieve everybody’s vision of healthy.”
When students respond with specific feedback, dining operators can make big changes, Executive Chef Michael Gumbert said.
“We found out we have a huge vegan population,” Gumbert said. “Over the summer we worked to address where we could put that station.”
Dining services release surveys every fall, Losonsky said. They receive around 300 responses from students, but he would like that number to increase to around 600.
“It’s your dining program,” Losonsky said. “If there’s only 12, or let’s say, 30 people show up, those are the voices we’re hearing that we can act upon.”
Losonsky says dining has a street team of tabling students, monthly brochures and is trying to coordinate marketing internship programs.
“And guess what,” Losonsky said. “There’s going to be free food and stuff there too. So that’s never bad.”