GV campus dining, University Food Committee work to improve food service

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GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Gillian Hanton, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University community continues to struggle with issues surrounding campus dining such the ability to provide quality food services amidst staffing shortages and limited locations.

Campus dining and the University Food Committee (UFC) are working to better the experience.

Although many students are active consumers of on-campus dining options, some are unaware of the UFC, an initiative within the division of student affairs with a focus on several aspects of food provided by GVSU.

Dr. Aaron Haight, co-chair of the UFC, has helped to create its goals for campus dining. 

“The purpose of the UFC is to evaluate the effectiveness of food services on all of GVSU’s campuses through student, faculty, staff and administrative representation,” Haight said. “It determined four areas of concentration; accessibility options, food insecurity, staffing crisis and third-party contracts.” 

The UFC has hosted monthly meetings to address campus dining concerns and recent achievements. The next meeting will be held on March 25 at 1:00 p.m. in Kirkhof Center, Room 2270. 

In addition to the work of the UFC, GVSU campus dining has recently hosted pop-up events around campus for students. 

At a men’s basketball game, campus dining provided a free cookie for the first 100 concessions guests. The organization has also set up a free “make-your-own trail mix” bar at the Laker Store, with a free drink included. 

Despite the efforts of campus dining and the UFC, several issues remain with food service at GVSU. 

The staffing shortage has persisted throughout the winter semester, which means several on-campus dining locations have been forced to keep their doors closed. This issue has also put stress on existing campus dining locations because they need to provide for a bigger clientele with the same limited resources. 

GVSU junior, Sara Vickrey, said she has noticed the increase in demand at popular locations. 

“I stop at Panda Express and Starbucks pretty regularly and the line is usually out the door,” Vickrey said. “I’ve definitely had to wait half an hour for food before.” 

However, many students are understanding of the current staffing crisis and are trying to make the best of it. 

One thing that hasn’t been compromised, Vickrey noticed, was the quality of service she has been receiving. 

“Even though I’ve heard that Grand Valley is having staffing issues, the customer service is still really good,” Vickrey said. “All the food service workers I’ve had have been very friendly and helpful.” 

Should students feel their concerns are not being addressed, there are several ways to become involved in resolving campus dining issues. 

Questions or concerns about food options and accessibility can be directly emailed to campus dining at [email protected] 

Students can also follow campus dining (@gvsufood) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on available options and information about pop up events on campus.