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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 24, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

SGA survey finds dining is a top concern

Campus dining, class registration, on-campus concerts and residential life were top concerns of students in a recent campus-wide survey conducted by the Student Government Association.

 Rob Flaherty, student body president, said the survey asked students to rank certain subjects by degree of concern. The areas of concern that were ranked were campus dining services, campus events (concerts), campus events (other), class registration, diversity awareness, parking, residential life, school spirit, sporting events and sustainability. 

The survey was sent out to the entire student body on Feb. 8 and received 210 responses. The results were released March 20.

Freshman Sean Themea, senator for the Class of 2016, said he ranked campus dining as his No. 1 concern, campus events as his second and school spirit as his third. To help address the issue of campus dining, Themea said he has taken on the position of co-chair of the Food Service Advisory Committee, roba group of students and Sodexo administration members who are working together to bring students’ voices to administration to make change. The committee also includes representatives from the IC Food Allergy Awareness Club and the IC Nutrition Club.

 The Food Service Advisory Committee has begun to address nutritional imbalances on campus by identifying Late Night as the least healthy option.

“We said that there was a high student demand for healthy food at Late Night, and as a result, the Towers Dining Hall manager rolled out a new menu for Late Night that won’t take away anything but adds nutritionally balanced options,” Themea said.

 Themea said new options will include egg white omelets on Mondays, assorted vegetarian tacos on Tuesdays, salads on Wednesdays and whole wheat pasta on Thursdays. The changes will go into full effect this week.  

 In the future, Themea said he plans to work toward providing healthier options at breakfast and address allergy issues in the dining halls in terms of labeling and providing more alternative options.

 Flaherty said the plan of action to address these areas of biggest concern indicated by the survey is to create student task forces by the end of the academic year. Their function will be to propose recommendations about what can be done to improve the student experience. 

Some other areas of concern highlighted in the survey included the Internet at the college, Homer Connect issues, student parking, sustainability and campus climate and diversity. 

 Sophomore Leonard Slutsky said he also ranked campus dining among his top concerns, in addition to poor Internet quality at the college, and is satisfied with how SGA is taking student opinions into consideration. 

“I’m really glad that the Student Government Association is listening to our concerns and asking for our opinion,” Slutsky said.

 Flaherty said the task forces, which are currently in the process of being formed, are going to have an SGA co-chair and a student
co-chair, who is considered an
“expert” in the area. When an email was sent out to students asking about interest, 18 responded. SGA is trying very hard to connect with students and is encouraging more of them to get involved.

A press release from SGA said three bills were passed at its meeting this past Monday. The first created a committee to generate a recommendation to modify and improve the smoking policy on campus. A second bill described SGA’s plans to create a diversity and social justice statement. Finally, the third recommended that transfer housing be expanded to the second floor of Terrace 11 to accommodate more students.

 Flaherty said administration recently gained the ability to email all students, which pushed back the time the survey could be administered.