Edge Bistro Brings Breakfast Back

New Year, new semester and new dining plan: 2008 not only brought on a horde of resolutions but also the reopening of breakfast at the Cutting Edge Bistro. The new continental breakfast is being offered from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each weekday, but is only being considered a trial run by Sodexho Dining Services. However, this reopening is a definite step towards a revamping of the previous changes to Dining Services on campus that caused so many complaints from students last fall.

Following up on a Student Government Association (SGA) Senate meeting at the beginning of the year, Sodexho Director George Murray met with SGA Policy Coordinator of Dining Services sophomore Matt Muskin and with the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), a section of the SGA made up of students from all four years. The purpose was to get opinions from a cross-section of the school and to find and form a solution of how to bring the Edge back to campus in a way that benefits everyone in the Colgate community.

Muskin wrote a report on Colgate’s Dining Services after these discussions that summarized the SGA’s recommendations, which proposed solutions and brainstorms for the Cutting Edge Bistro, the new first-year meal plan, the Juice Bar and different aspects of the other meal plans. Muskin, Murray, Director of Budget Hugh Bradford and Associate Dean of the College Sue Smith reviewed the entire report together, solidifying the communication link between the SGA, Dining Services and Colgate Administration.

Murray, Bradford and Smith largely agreed with the solutions postulated by the Senate and SAC but frankly stated that changing campus Dining Services was a big project that would take time and may not produce the ideal result that many students have of a full return of the Edge. However, they also said that they would be willing to discuss the report with the Senate and would work towards getting much more student input before making another change. Muskin and SAC head first-year Liz Brodsky were very pleased by the positive response they received. The trial-run breakfast is an example of the benefits of the SGA’s efforts.

“The SGA listened to what the student body wanted and was able to work effectively with the Colgate administration to meet student needs without dismantling the current Edge service or format,” Muskin said.

Students are encouraged to utilize the new Edge hours because the breakfast will be discontinued if enough support is not shown.

The return of breakfast at the Edge is the first of many changes the student body will be hearing about. The SGA and Sodexho are also responding to the Colgate student body by examining how to make the best of the several different meal plans offered to students. Another change to the Edge that is being looked at by the administration is the reduction of prices for students not on a meal plan. A previous result of this has been the ability to use “flex-dollars” on a meal instead of having to use up a whole other meal if the price went over the meal price.

Another concrete result from these discussions was the extension of the Heiber Café hours during exam week last semester. Murray asked the SAC to find out which hours students deemed most optimal to have the café open and responded with immediate results. SGA and Sodexho are also considering closing the Juice Bar in Huntington Gymnasium, which would allow for more employees at the other dining halls as well as more fitness space, a long-time desire of many students.

A report containing students’ own meal activity, including where, when and how many meals were eaten, is another potential addition to the dining services. This report would allow students to better keep track of how many meals they have left and which meal plan would be most optimal for them to purchase.

Another aspect of the meal plan that is being considered is adding more flexibility and the ability to “double-swipe” during certain meal times to more than just first-years and unlimited plan members. SGA members indicated that student input during 2008 will be essential to seeing these concepts become new policy.