When students came back to campus from winter break, they discovered unexpected changes to the dining halls across campus, including hours of operation and available food choices. The students were caught off guard, especially with the breakfast hours of the Galley and Anchor.
Since the first week, communication from the students to the administration has been intense over the issue, and changes are coming to accommodate the needed tweaks across campus as soon as this month.
The issue was brought up at the first meeting of the Student Government Association (SGA), previously the Student Senate, on Thursday, Jan. 25. SGA was unaware of the changes, and was as shocked as the rest of the students across campus.
Millersville University’s Vice President of Finance, Roger Bruszewski, came to discuss these changes with members of the organization as well as other student attendees. He was clear that this change in dining services was to deter a five percent increase in student payment next autumn. Doing so will only make the increase one percent more.
He stated the decision of what places were decreased in operation were based on the trends of where student meal swipes were occurring. The Galley being the main concern, Bruszewski explained that only “Five percent of meals for breakfast were being used at the Galley.”
Furthermore, it does not financially make sense for the Galley to continue serving breakfast every day when the percentage of students eating that meal is so low.
The Student Government Association focused its negotiations on concerns over the breakfast hours of the Galley and Anchor, as well as the dinner hours at the Cove and Smoothie Bar. This led to Mr. Bruszewski’s assurance that the Cove’s dining hours would be extended to 6 p.m., so education and music majors would have more time to eat dinner before their night classes.
He also assured that the Smoothie Bar will be included with choices that the Galley previously had for breakfast. There are already options for having a donut and smoothie meal combo.
Bruszewski also focused on the special situation with Starbucks and Saxby’s. These places will keep similar hours as they have not caused much, if any, conflict. He explained they are outsourcing, as they mostly supply their own food. Millersville gets five cents per every dollar spent at the two coffee options. He explained the university is looking to expand their outsourcing with the other dining services.
According to the Associate Director of Dining Services, Gerry Shehan, the Upper Deck received an hour extension due to popularity, its workers union, and convenient location in relation to the residence halls and class buildings. He explained that 800 out of the 3000 students use meals there, and explained it was the best place to increase those statistics.
He also confirmed what Bruszewski stated, which was concern over raising the student prices, whether one percent or five percent if the places were kept operational.
He explained the Upper Deck was chosen for a breakfast hour extension because the union that exists amongst the senior staff at the dining halls is primarily centered in Gordinier, whereas two were stationed at the Galley. It was easier to accommodate the two members of the workers union than vice versa.
Shehan explained the Smoothie Bar’s hours were reduced because of the cost of the recipe ingredients, as Millersville does not own the recipes. He also explained the expense of the various ingredients was a lot on the budget.
Shehan explained that the food truck may be brought back around lunch and breakfast hours if a better location is found that is not isolated from the rest of campus.
Triniti-Lynn Thornhill is the representative of the Student Government Association to the dining services. She encourages students to come to her if they have suggestions.
The lack of communication from dining services made the transition difficult for students at the beginning of the semester; however, things are calming down. If students desire to further communicate with dining services, meetings may be set up in Gordinier Hall. It is encouraged that students advocate for what they need as the administration continues to balance the dining hall hours.