WSGA establishes Food Services Committee

Travis Perry

The Washburn Student Government Association is giving students the chance to offer Chartwells Dining Services some food for thought.

The newly formed Food Services Committee is searching for students with a desire to help influence change on campus. Chaired by Whitney Philippi, WSGA president, the goal of the committee is to examine student opinion in relation to the performance of Chartwells Dining Services, offer suggestions for change and evaluate Chartwells’ willingness to improve and change to students needs.

Philippi said the committee will consist of four students, with at least one non-traditional and one commuter, two members of the Washburn Residence Council, one to two members of the Student Bar Association and three to four members of WSGA. Applications are available outside the WSGA office in the lower level of the Memorial Union. The application deadline is Jan. 30.

“This committee is not here to get rid of Chartwells,” said Philippi. “That could be were out next action is, but that’s not where our goal is.”

The timeline for the committee is an extensive one, spanning both spring and fall semesters of this year. After formation, the immediate goal of the committee will be to gather public opinion through a variety of methods, including focus groups, town hall meetings and health inspections. Chartwells will then be given the summer to make any necessary changes, and in the fall the committee will evaluate Chartwells’ performance and willingness to change. Hypothetically, Philippi said, if Chartwells’ does well, it will be commended for its actions, and if it does poorly, WSGA will take the necessary steps to ensure the university’s contract with Chartwells is reevaluated.

Matt Beadelston, director of dining services, has been in contact with Philippi and other WSGA executive staff members about the committee, and thinks it’s a great idea.

“For us, it gives us a good sense of what the students are looking for,” said Beadelston.

While Beadelston wasn’t sure what to expect from students, Philippi was more direct.

“I think when you ask for the general student opinion, you’re going to get the ones with complaints,” said Philippi.

Ultimately, neither will have a concrete idea of what comes next until student opinion is gauged and more information is gathered. Beadelston said anything suggested by the committee would be taken into consideration and that Chartwells would see what it could do.