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February 12, 2007 Minutes

Dining Committee
Willard Straight Hall, Okenshields
February 12, 2007


Mazdak Asgary, Mark Coombs, Gregory Mezey, Joe Regenstein, Nicole Rodia, Ahmed Salem
Keith Bodin, Jaydev Mahadevan, Sarah Sniffen
Also Present
Richard Anderson, Chelsea Clarke, Tony Kveragas, Kwame Thomison, Victor Younger

Call to Order

Meeting called to order at 5:40 PM


The chair introduced the President of the SA, who joined for the entire meeting. The group went around the table and made short introductions. It was then determined who was actually a voting delegate.

Unfortunately with the change of time and day, a few students have conflicts either specifically for this meeting or for all meetings. Replacements will be sought.

The meeting started with a discussion of an item of “New Business” identified at the last meeting — the issue of a late night dining program. From the Dining Department’s perspective this would probably require additional new labor and the impact on other late evening dining options was not clear. Some of the students felt this might not be the best use of resources — since other options are available and many students have enough Big Red Bucks to be able to purchase food on those occasions when they could not get to supper. Although some students would benefit, the numbers might not justify the expenses and effort.

Apparently the SA will be trying out a student poll on issues as part of the voting process this spring. A long discussion of possible ways this committee might poll the students ensued. The question of a very specific question (which might get an answer that wasn’t reflective of the students later actions), a multiple — choice questions or an open-ended question were discussed. Obviously, an open ended question might get the most interesting responses but the committee would then need to do the work of going through the responses and organizing them and working with them. The favorite seemed to be an open-ended question if that could be done and the committee appears to be willing to do the necessary work to deal with the multitude of responses.

From the “Old Business” agenda, the issue of the Temple of Zeus was discussed, i.e., getting them on Big Red Bucks. Colleen is more than willing to talk to them.

Dinning has now hired a new staff nutritionist part time. Michele Wilber will hopefully attend the next meeting. Her priorities will be to get nutritional labeling on the standardized items, work on getting the recipes right in the board plan dining halls so that nutritional and ingredient information can be made available, interact with students, and undertake appropriate nutritional education programs. She is familiar with the relevant computer programs (from CBORD) that Cornell Dining uses. Although Dining is committed to labeling foods in the Board dining halls, it appears that more effort is needed to get all items labeled. Discussion focused on what information students REALLY need at the point of “purchase,” readily available in the dining halls, and possible to obtain through a web site.

Because Oakenshields is open on Monday nights, the meetings was subject to distractions, and so it was decided to move to Hughes Hall for the next meeting.

Items for the agenda for next time were then obtained. These include: a. Olin Café Hours (how late at night?) b. Central Coffee Location late at night after other facilities are closed c. PLA (polylactic acid containers and capturing them for composting) d. Local food purchases (Farm to School program and related efforts) e. Second Harvest (How does Cornell address “high quality, edible” leftovers?) f. New West Campus operations (Update on how they are doing) g. Plastic Bag Recycling in the Retail Operations (Requested by a committee member after the meeting)


Meeting Adjourned at about 6:35 PM

Respectfully submitted, Joe M. Regenstein

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