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Last month we, The Food Justice Team, held a conference call with members of the Dining Advisory Board on the Pace University New York City campus, including Bailey Tarpley, president of the Dining Board. Our purpose was to learn more about the Board’s success in bridging the gap between Chartwells and the NYC student body to ensure improvement of the Pace dining experience.

Girl_eating_yogurt_parfait_-_Flickr_-_USDAgovIn recent conversations with Mary Lieto, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services, we have explored the process of emulaitng the same committee model for Pace’s Pleasantville/Briarcliff campuses. We were instantly swayed by the idea of forging a similar model right here in our own backyard. Members of the Board enlightened us on how the Board plays an active role in the dining experience, affecting significant changes in collaboration with Chartwells, ultimately dismissing any preconceived notions of apathy and unwillingness on the part of the food provider.

Unbeknownst to many on the Westchester campuses, Pace Pleasantville/Briarcliff  had a Dining Board that was disbanded for reasons unspecified. We were invited by the Board to come to the NYC campus and sit in on one of their meetings to learn how to begin to assemble our very own Advisory Board if we eventually did want to move forward with such an initiative.. This opportunity allowed us to meet the members in person and engage in conversations about the Pace dining experience on both the Pleasantville and NYC campus. At the November 6th meeting, a one-hour period was allotted to discuss dining surveys, pricing of cafeteria foods, outreach through social media, and other relevant concerns.

It is important to underscore that the purpose of the Dining Advisory Board is not to criticize our food provider Chartwells, but rather to offer feedback that is both positive and constructive. From the meeting, it was obvious that the members of the Dining Advisory Board and those representatives from Chartwells have a good working relationship, ultimately resulting in a great deal of benefits for the student body and the overall dining experience of the campus community.


 

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