With Spring Break only a few weeks away, I’d like to update you on an initiative that Pooja and I have been working on throughout the school year — changes to our dining program. I’d like to update you on the work of the Student Government Dining Task Force and also the current Request for Proposal (RFP) process for a potential new dining vendor.
The dining program on campus has been an issue that I have felt passionate about since I first became a Student Senator during my freshman year. In November, Pooja and I formed a dining task force, composed of Student Senators and Graduate Student Assembly Representatives, to evaluate the state of the dining program and to propose possible solutions.
While I don’t have the space to review them all, some of these goals included making DineX roll over per semester, making a 24/7 eatery (happening already in Maggie Murph!), creating a semester coffee cup program in Entropy+, and making more communal dining in the University Center. Both Vice President Murphy and Director of Housing and Dining Kim Abel have met with the task force and read through the report. If you would like to see the report in its entirety, please feel free to visit our website — stugov.andrew.cmu.edu/executive — or contact me directly.
Besides the task force, we’ve also been very busy in the RFP process. Many of the dining locations on campus are operated under one vendor, Parkhurst. With Parkhurst’s contract about to expire, Abel invited several companies to submit proposals on why they should be our future dining partner.
Three of those companies — Parkhurst, Sodexo, and CulinArt — submitted proposals, and throughout the last week they came to campus and made their case as to why they believe they are the right fit for Carnegie Mellon. If this doesn’t seem like a that big of a deal to you, please think again. We’re talking about revolutionizing dining operations on our campus. One vendor mentioned bringing an Einstein Bros. Bagels, some have talked about touch-screen ordering, others have mentioned better nutritional and sustainable practices, etc.
One last thing: Don’t forget to submit petitions (at the UC Info Desk) by March 3 to run for SBP, SBVPF, or Senate. Besides the fact that having a representative voice for the students is that important, I think that, like me, you’ll find that you can really enjoy your time in these roles as well. Good luck with midterms!