Student Senate Dining Services Committee Chair junior Kaitlyn Duling recalled her favorite projects, discussed her goals and gave advice to the incoming chair as the year comes to a close.
Student concerns and increased sustainability efforts drew the majority of Duling’s attention during the year. Noting and relaying student opinions is a major responsibility of the position, as comments concerning desired items and food quality are brought up frequently during the weekly senate meetings.
“I wanted to directly address student requests concerned with food and address campus concerns about sustainable food,” Duling said.
The length of the terms was Duling’s greatest obstacle in accomplishing her goals for the year; “working within three short terms is always hard,” she said.
Food prices and seasonal restrictions also played a part in hindering the accommodation of student requests.
“We would’ve loved to have made many of the suggested changes, but pricing and logistics are always issues,” Duling said. Learning to work within the constraints of the food budget and growing seasons was another obstacle she encountered.
However, Duling believed that she was able to fulfill student requests and contribute to sustainability projects nonetheless, noting that several C-store items were available this year as a result of student comments.
“We accomplished quite a lot! The free popcorn on Thursdays in the Gizmo, Gator Sauce, the smoothie bar in the Caf and avocados in the C-store were all direct student requests,” Duling said.
As far as sustainability efforts are concerned, Duling benefited from working in coordination with the Student Senate Sustainability Committee and other green student food movements.
“We’ve also expanded our conversations with other campus food groups like Growing Galesburg and Sustainability Committee,” Duling said.
Duling’s favorite projects include the popcorn machine and the addition of Dave’s Gator Sauce, a hot sauce made and sold locally. Though it drew some controversy, Duling is also pleased with the outcome of the fall term backpack policy, where student opposition led to the elimination of the rule.
“I love the popcorn machine and peppermint syrup in the Gizmo, and Gator Sauce is delicious. I’m also happy with how the ‘no bags in the Caf’ situation was handled during fall term,” Duling said.
As advice to the incoming chair, Duling focused on the need for cooperation with Dining Services Director Helmut Mayer, and all of the people involved in dining at the college.
“Keep a positive energy and always stay in touch with people. Keep up the dialogue with Helmut, Caf workers, students and student food groups,” Duling said.