New dining advisory board comes to UAA

Next month USUAA will launch a new
committee to analyze and assess student
opinion of food services on campus.
USUAA Senator Cristina Gaina is
the sponsor of the new Dining Advisory
Committee.
Gaina said the original committee,
the Food Services Student Investigative
Commission, was fi rst organized a few
years ago. She explained that they were
junsuccessful because of the aggressive tone
of the name.
The primary accomplishment of FSSIC,
according to Gaina, was a survey conducted
to assess students’ on-campus dining
satisfaction. The data is now too old, however,
to be applicable.
Gaina said the survey fi ndings did
illuminate some of the issues for students
that are still concerns to date. The complaints
included a lack of choice and food diversity,
unhealthy options, and high prices.
In addition to collecting new data about
student satisfaction, DAC is seeking to
implement positive changes for on-campus
dining in a non-aggressive manner in
collaboration with the UAA Seawolf Dining
Services.
“Our goal is to work together to have the
needs of the students met,” Gaina said.
Gaina said DAC is inclusive of voices from
all over the campus-not solely USUAA.
The committee will be comprised of
two student representatives from RHA,
one student representative from both Club
Council and USUAA, two students at large,
a faculty/staff advisor, and a representative
from UAA Seawolf Dining Services to
serve as a non-voting member.
Gaina said they aim to meet regularly
with representatives of University Housing,
Dining & Conference Services and UAA
Seawolf Dining Services.
Narry Ramani, the new general
manager for Seawolf Dining Services said
that he looks forward to having feedback
from students. He noted solutions to many
of the grievances addressed by the student
body, namely, the price of eating on
campus-like a dollar to add sour cream
to a burrito at the Baja Café.
Ramani said the Dining Services prices
were based on food cost, and were bench
marked accordingly.
Dining Services is currently owned by
NANA Management Services, now known
as NMS.
NMS is approximately 49 percent
funded by national food giant Sodexho,
said Ramani, and 10-15 percent of cash
sales go back to the University.
Ramani said this a common practice
for the majority of campus sales-an issue
Gaina plans to address with the committee
at a later date.
Although students made their voices
clear about the lack of choice on campus last
spring with the FSSIC, Ramani maintains
that all students need to do is ask.
“If students have special dietary needs,
all they need to do is let us know,” said
Ramani. “We will make sure they have
something if they give us enough notice.”
Ramani said that nutritional information
for all food items is available upon
request.
“We have an open-door policy,” said
Ramani. “If students have issues that arise,
we need to know about them.”
DAC will conduct interviews for its
Students at Large for a couple more weeks
and the committee should go into effect in
late February.