Campus dining offers students a chance for food feedback

GVL / Marissa Dillon

GVL / Marissa Dillon

Duane Emery

If Grand Valley State University students have ever found themselves enjoying a meal on campus and had an idea to improve the dining experience, but didn’t know who to tell, then the food committee meeting is the place for them.

“The food committee provides a platform for open conversation regarding dining,” said Deb Rambadt of Campus Dining marketing.

The food committee will hold these meetings every third Tuesday beginning Sept. 23. The meetings are open for all students to come and discuss a variety of topics that they feel are important to the experience of dining on campus.

“There is no formal process. All are welcome to raise topics, share opinions and join the conversation,” Rambadt said. “Students bring forth service issues, inconsistencies, compliments and suggestions.”

Emma Moulton of the GVSU Student Senate co-chairs the meetings with Rambadt and agrees that students need these meetings to voice concerns. Dining management, including the general manager and at least one restaurant manager, attend each meeting, which goes a long way to improving Campus Dining.

“It’s a great way to talk to the head of Campus Dining,” Moulton said. “They’re really receptive to everything we have to say. Meetings have no set format and, rather than having an agenda, are conversation driven and directed by what participants want to talk about.

“If we run out of topics during a meeting, the Campus Dining representatives will take the time to tell us what is new and what is changing,” Moulton said.

Topics that are brought up occasionally involve bad or slow service, but the committee is concerned with more than being a complaint department. Students who attend are interested in improving food variety. In particular, students are often concerned with getting more gluten free food options, as well as expanding the vegetarian menu. The committee is always working with dining management to look into broad eating preferences such as these to bring expanded options to students seeking vegetarian or gluten free meals.

“Last year, the food committee brought about change in salad consistency,” Rambadt said.

According to Moulton, previously salads were different sizes at different facilities, but cost the same price at each location.

“They changed it to make sure we get the same value,” she said.

Concerns of wait times for meals during food committee meetings also prompted a wait time study, Rambadt said. These studies resulted in service changes that reduced food preparation time, which allow students to receive meals more quickly.

Moulton said changes are not always as noticeable as the salad consistency issue, but the meetings are important to bring about a lot of little changes that will enhance the dining experience through constant improvement. Since meetings are completely driven by the concerns of attendees, students are encouraged to attend as more voices translate to more changes.

“We are still trying to get different representation, so it’s definitely open to everybody,” Moulton said.

Rambadt added, “Generally there is strong representation from Student Senate and RHA. However, no organizational affiliation or formal representation is required.”

The food committee meetings are held in different rooms at the Kirkhof Center. For more information, contact Campus Dining or visit

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