Students create petition for change in SFA dining halls

Zoey Ruby, senior health science major from Dallas, shows chicken nuggets she received in the student center dining hall. Some students have dealt with mushy and rotten vegetables, moldy bread and undercooked chicken. 

A petition was created by students to bring change to on-campus dining eateries. Jared Glatz, senior English major from McKinney, and Zachary Hopkins, junior psychology major from Plano, were the students who started the petition on Oct. 23. Their main concerns are the quality and availability of food. 

“I’m just asking them to improve what they had,” Glatz said. If we don’t set a certain standard, it's just going to crumble.” 

The petition included a list of improvements waiting to be made, such as late night dining hours being brought back, more variety of quality proteins and bringing back individualized silverware for sanitary purposes.  

Carrie Charleyexecutive director of campus living, dining and auxiliary services, reached out to Glatz immediately after being made aware of the petition and discussed the process of food committee meetings.  

Glatz and Hopkins attended a food committee meeting after talking with Charley and voiced their concerns. Glatz said the meeting was very helpful and eye opening.  

“They definitely heard me, and I think that in the future they will definitely take what I requested into consideration, and I completely appreciate that,” Glatz said.  

Charley said some of the improvements requested by Glatz and Hopkins, such as the hours, had been discussed in a previous meeting before the petition was made.  

As for the late night dining hours, Charley said that they will return to the Eatery on East in the spring. 

Charley said SFA has not had a new dining provider in 31 years, so there are performance indicators they are holding Chartwells accountable for. 

“Every eight weeks I go through thos[indicators] with my staff and the dining staff to make sure they're upholding what we agreed to. The more data we collect, the more we are able to validate what's really going on,” Charley said. 

Many other students have had issues with the quality of food. Some students have dealt with mushy and rotten vegetables, moldy bread and undercooked chicken. 

“I have a meal plan but I hardly ever go to dining halls because it's so bad. Each student pays roughly $1,000 and yet they can’t give us better quality,” Zoey Ruby, senior health science major from Dallas, said. 

Charley said they recommend students with concerns to attend the food committee meetings, on sight insight focus groups and “Text to chat,” which is a communication line that goes directly to all dining managers, as well as the regional vice president of Chartwells. 

“[The dining managers] will be able to respond right then and there. They can pull the product, they can examine why it might be looking or tasting the way it does. With the supply chain they are able to get down to what line and row at the farm that lettuce came from. It’s that specific and they're that good at that part of their job,” Charley said.

The first focus group meeting will have four sessions Nov. 10 in the President’s Suite at the Baker Pattillo Student Center. The session for residential students will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., commuter students will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., faculty/staff will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and another session for residential students will be held again from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Nov. 11 there will be three sessions with faculty/staff at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., residential students from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and commuter students from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.  

The next food committee meeting will be held next week Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Multimedia Room 2.106 in the student center. 

The “Text to Chat” number is 936-213-6535. 

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