One of the recurring issues the Student Government faces are related to the food options provided. Since the beginning of our term in May 2007, the SGA has been working closely with Colgate’s institutional leaders to examine dining services for students on campus. At the beginning of this process, our goal was to improve communication between students and administrators, to increase flexibility in meal plan options, and to make meal plan information more accessible to students. Rather than continue the trends of past years by simply stating complaints students had, we worked hard to establish a working relationship directly with Sodexho, Colgate’s dining service provider.
With this vision in mind, we immediately set out working on improving the communication around the new Cutting Edge Bistro. This was an unforeseen challenge that let us put our goals to work in improving the dining experience on campus. While the new facility was welcomed for its high quality food and alternative dining style, many students were frustrated with the lack of information about the reformatting of the facility. As a result, Matt Muskin ’10, SGA Policy Coordinator for Dining Services, Liz Brodsky ’11, Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, and David Kusnetz ’09, former Speaker of the Senate, worked together to increase communication between Sodexho and the SGA, as well as communication between Sodexho an the student population at large. Sodexho Director George Murray, Associate Vice-President Hugh Bradford and Associate Dean Sue Smith were invaluable to this process, helping the SGA’s goals become realities.
One of these successes was the return of continental breakfast at the Edge on weekdays. It was a great step forward for students and speaks to the responsiveness of Colgate’s administrators and Sodexho. Though the breakfast has been discontinued after a 7-week trial run due to under-utilization, it serves as an excellent example of Colgate and Sodexho’s willingness to take a risk for the benefit of students. This relationship will continue as one of the great stride that the SGA has made this year in empowering students to influence what happens at Colgate.