Food services committee to administer own survey

Richard Kelly

With the recent events involving Chartwells Dining Services’ 10-year contract renewal and the uproar that went with it, the Food Services Committee of the Washburn Student Government Association is trying to help bring some resolution to the situation.

The committee, which was formed last fall in the hope of increasing student satisfaction of food service on campus, began holding its meetings this spring. Currently, its focus is on an upcoming survey that will be released in the coming weeks to address more student concerns with the Chartwells construction. President of WSGA, Whitney Phillipi, was very surprised when Chartwells was awarded a renewal contract, but knows the situation is still open for student input.

“We were surprised when the contract was approved. We had no idea that was going on,” said Phillipi. “Apparently communication just didn’t work either way. But that’s okay because we’re in continuing communication, especially with Matt Beadleston.”

Since meeting with WSGA on April 1, Beadleston, director of dining services, has met with the food services committee to help create the survey for students.

The survey is comprehensive, according to Phillipi, and will cover food quality, hours of operation and prices, among many other issues. The original idea was to pass out the survey before any contracts were signed, but nevertheless, the agenda for the food services committee has not changed. The eventual hope will be to hand the surveys over to dining services and see what can be done with the results.

“Our idea is we’re going to give them the summer and we want to see how we can work with students and then come back in the fall and evaluate,” said Phillipi.

The worry for most is that since the contract has been signed, student input would be a moot point. But through meeting and speaking with Beadleston, the committee is optimistic that student needs can still be met.

“I think what a lot of students thought would happen was Chartwells would just forget about students, because they had their contract and didn’t need to listen to us,” said Phillipi. “But that isn’t what happened. [Beadleston is] listening to us more now and involving himself. He knows what he has to do now. I just think the administration needs to get that message.”