Resolution reaffirms late night dining

Story by Briana Gruenewald

Student Senate passed a resolution Monday rejecting the proposed policy to close late night dining cafeteria access due to theft, making it illegal for University Centers to implement the policy.

Prior to spring break, University Centers and Blugold Dining said late night cafeteria access may not be available following break, which Student Senate deemed an inappropriate response to the theft problem and a breach of contract, according to the bill.

In a March 10 article in “The Spectator,” general manager of Sodexo Christian Wise said the recent replacement costs of Blugold Dining dinnerware have reached nearly $70,000, which is double the usual budgeted amount of $35,000.

Student Body President Dylan Jambrek said according to state statute, a policy such as this must go through student shared governance before it is implemented.

“In our opinion this is a fairly large proposed policy shift by University Centers,” Jambrek said, “specifically in operation of the dining service, which we think is a very intrinsic student service.”

Senator Mark Morgan echoed Jambrek’s sentiments, adding that this is a multifaceted issue that deserves the most student control possible.
“At a very simple level, the cafeteria … is exceedingly crucial to about 2,500 students that live on campus and have to have meal plans,” Morgan said. “It’s a core part of their daily routine and what they’re paying for.”

Jambrek said the late night closure would be a direct hit to students who only have time to use the cafeteria after 8:30 p.m. Such students, he said, would be forced to resort to buying food off-campus or at the food court, which would be added expenses for them.

Freshman Kelsey Dumanch said she often only has time to eat dinner during the late night hours because of classes and meetings.

“I wouldn’t get to eat at night if the cafeteria closes,” Dumanch said. “I also go with my friends, so that’s 10 to 15 other people who wouldn’t get to eat, too.”

University Centers director Charles Farrell said in response to the resolution that this is not a contractual issue, rather an operational policy issue. Farrell said he told Student Senate prior to spring break that no decision had been made.

“I continue to be confused why the Senate wasted their time passing a resolution against something that hasn’t happened,” Farrell said.
Jambrek defended the Senate resolution, saying because of the “mixed messages coming out of University Centers” that it was necessary.

“It was important that Student Senate clarified its position on when University Centers can and cannot change services related to dining and reinforce that shared governance processes have to be pursued,” Jambrek said.

Farrell said at this time University Centers has no concrete plans to close the cafeteria to remedy the situation. He did, however, stress that something does need to be done to offset the costs of theft since the previous amnesty program did not work.

“We got an embarrassingly small amount,” Farrell said. “So it’s very clear that students couldn’t care less; that’s the message they seem to
be sending.”

*Editor’s note: Sodexo’s General Manager Christian Wise is out of office due to vacation and couldn’t be reached for an interview.