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Is this the end for Chartwells? In April, the Board of Regents will review and possibly change meal rate plans based upon Student Senate surveys
Chevonne Forgey
Antelope Staff
Photo by Bryan Molt
Sophomore Joey Zwiener of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, majoring in nursing, hands his student ID to an Asian Cuisine employee after placing his order. Asian Cuisine is the newest addition to the food court joining Coyote Jack and Taco Bell.
“This is a very hot topic on campus, which means we have to be very careful with what we say and how we say it.” Paloma Mena-Werth, Chair of Student Affairs

Grumbling and mumbling about dissatisfaction with Chartwells has been circulating around campus for several weeks now, and student senators are collecting survey information to be reviewed before making a resolution for change when the Chartwells’s contract is up in 2011.

“Something needs to be done,” said Senator Liz Hudec at the Student Senate meeting Oct. 6.

One of the primary concerns: Meal plans are not flexible enough for students, especially on weekends. Another concern: transferring meals to the union food court is useless because students only receive a fraction of what they could eat had they just opted to eat at Chartwells.

The Student Senate recognizes student concerns as increasingly big issues among the students on campus. Chair of Student Affairs Paloma Mena-Werth said at the meeting that the Student Affairs committee is working on writing a resolution for the Student Senate about the current food service provider.

“This is a very hot topic on campus, which means that we have to be very careful with what we say and how we say it— so that it is taken seriously," Mena-Werth said, "The purpose of the Student Senate is to be an official voice for the student body. People can complain to their friends about their dinner, but complaining won't do anything about it. Our job is to make these complaints official.”

The resolution the committee is working towards approval will be an official document that can be presented to administration to voice student concerns.

Initially, the committee has polled over 100 students via paper and Internet surveys.

The Internet survey concluded that 82 percent of the students taking the survey were not happy with the current food service provider, and 96 percent were not happy with the meal plan options.

The numbers are a big concern to student Senators and provide the rationale for moving forward on this issue.

A preliminary resolution was introduced at the Oct. 6 meeting; however, it was not approved. As Mena-Werth said, “We want this resolution to be perfect. We need big numbers; we need clear data; we don't want any holes that could leave anyone wondering about the strength of our resolution. We are trying to get in touch with some professors who might help us out in making a bigger survey that we would try to get out to as much of campus as possible. Once we have received the results of this new survey, the resolution will be revised and represented to the Student Senate.” 

Mena-Werth said, “If the current food service provider remains on campus, they need to become more student friendly.”

The contract for Chartwells is up in 2011, and if the university is going to change the food service provider, it will be done then.

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