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20061013 Minutes

SA Dining Services Committee

Meeting minutes for Friday, October 13, 2006 at the Ivy Room, Willard Straight Hall.

Prepared by Shane Sniffen.

Record of attendance: Name NetID Position Mark Coombs mpc39 Chair Keith Bodin knb8 Undergraduate Voting Member Shane Sniffen ss475 Undergraduate Voting Member Mazdak Asgary mazdak Undergraduate Voting Member Nicole Rodia ncr6 Undergraduate Voting Member Ahmed Salem ass34 SA Voting Member Emma Hamme ech33 Student Employee Voting Member Gregory Mezey gnm5 Committee Alternate Prof. Joe Regenstein jmr9 Faculty Voting Member Colleen Wright-Riva cw223 Director of Dining Services Doug Lockwood, Jr. dhl34 Kwame Thomison kmt34 Chelsea Clarke cmc255


Mark assigned roles of secretary for agendas to Nicole and for meeting minutes to Shane.

Mark presented the statement of purpose of the Dining Services Committee (DSC). The DSC reports to the Student Assembly (SA), which in turn has “legislative authority over Campus Life and the Office of the Dean of Students” and can put forth requests for information and recommendations to various divisions of the university. Mazdak noted that such requests exclude certain confidential information (such as individual persons’ salaries) and that non-compliance with SA resolutions is dealt with by the president.

Colleen mentioned that the DSC often comes up with many good ideas, but in the end these ideas must work in the ‘big picture’ of Cornell Dining.

Mazdak stated that resolutions in the DSC are passed by a majority of its voting members, whereupon the resolution continues to the SA for review, at which point it can be overturned by a 2/3 vote.

Mark recommended attending SA meetings to see how the body functions. Committees (such as the DSC) can include minority reports if any member feels significantly opposed to a particular resolution favored by the majority of his or her colleagues on the committee.


The group discussed possible meeting locations. Two of the main new suggestions were Okenshield’s and a conference room. Emma recommended keeping the location on central campus. Kwame suggested holding meetings in the loft in Willard Straight or in the International Room.

Times were discussed next. Wednesday and Thursdays were bad for SA members, and Tuesday was impossible for at least one member. Of the other members, it was determined that 3 had tight schedules on Monday while 2 had tight schedules on Friday, so Friday at 5pm was chosen.

Of the five possible meeting dates for the rest of the semester, the following four were chosen: October 20, November 3, 10 and 17. The last of these meetings is tentative/optional, depending on how much there is to do at that time.

Location was decided to be the TV room in Okenshield’s, which is closed during the meeting time. Members will meet at the Ivy Room just before meeting time to be let into Okenshield’s.

General Discussion

Greg suggested a “Zagat’s Guide” sort of project for Cornell Dining (maybe called “Bear Facts”) which would provide students with student-written reviews and other information about various dining facilities around campus. Besides benefiting students, this would also give Dining Services better insight into what things are working and what areas need improvement. Mark suggested putting suggestion/review forms in dining halls for students to fill out and submit. Greg said such a project would be a student-led one, possibly relying on the university for printing, resources, etc.

Ahmed advocated 24-hour coffee locations for students, especially during study periods. The library cafes close relatively early compared to how late many students stay up studying.

Mazdak gave a summary of major items discussed at the informal meeting held September 25. Of importance were 24-hour dining facilities, implementation of some sort of meal equivalency plan, ways of handling leftover food, nutrition information labels on all food in dining halls, ways of making meal plans less restrictive to students, and off-campus dining venues.

Ahmed suggested the idea of an on-campus ‘pub’ serving alcohol. Such a venue would potentially provide a much safer environment than the alternative of going to drink off-campus. Mark noted that several administration members have also been interested in this idea. Colleen noted that the Big Red Barn does serve alcohol to graduate students on Fridays, although they are not under jurisdiction of Cornell Dining. Mark and Mazdak suggested we contact other universities to see what kinds of on-campus drinking venues they provide and how well it works for them. Colleen said that she can get that contact information for us.

Greg asked about getting a meal plan dining location for the hotel school. Colleen said that dining locations therein are not part of Cornell Dining.

Mazdak brought up Temple of Zeus and their separation from Cornell Dining, including not accepting Big Red Bucks.

Mark asked about the school’s contract with Pepsi.

Nicole advocated healthier options in dining halls. Chelsea suggested a full ingredients listing for each item.

Mazdak asked about milk suppliers, and the relationship between Cornell Dining and the Dairy Bar. Colleen says the relationship is pretty firm and they are not likely to change to another supplier.

Emma stated that the main concern for employees is wages. As an example, the basic starting wage is $7.50.

Mark reminded everyone to send any new agenda items to Nicole ( for future meetings. If you are sending a resolution or some sort of new proposal, give a somewhat detailed explanation with reasoning and specifics/logistics of the proposal. Meetings will end at 6:30. Votes will happen at the beginning of meetings.

End of meeting, Oct. 13.

Respectfully submitted,

Shane Sniffen

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