By Brandon Sweatman
What is even more controversial than politics? I would say the Newman University cafeteria.
Everyday new comments can be seen posted on the board next to the dish line. Some of the comments criticize while others provide valid suggestions. What is evident is that people have options about the food.
Recently, I have had questions regarding this item of controversy so I went digging. My main focus was on the cost of the meal plans.
Currently the cost of the All-You-Can-Eat Meal Plan with $100 Bonus Bucks is $1,595 per semester. Naturally I was shocked to see this price.
At Butler Community College, I paid $800 a semester for the same meal plan through the same company, Great Western Dinning. This did not seem right to me.
In my search for answers, I found Mark Dresselhaus, vice president of finance and administration. After speaking with him, I found that every few years, a new contract is signed and that Newman pushes for the most competitive pricing.
In my investigation, I contacted other colleges in order to compare our pricing to theirs. Right across 54, students at Friends pay $1,700 per semester using Sodexo. WSU students pay $1,515 per semester also through Sodexo. Kansas State pays $1,560 per semester using an in house service.
After comparing these colleges, I feel that we are getting a competitive price. On top of the benefit of getting a competitive price, Newman also receives additional benefits from Great Western Dinning.
For example, we receive free catering during a few special events. Great Western has also donated around $100,000 back to Newman over the past years.
But we can all admit there is always room for improvement. In speaking with Director of Residence Life LeaAnn Knaebel, I found that the Newman Food Committee has been revived this semester after lying dormant for several years.
The committee is open to all Newman students, so if you have really strong feelings towards food at Newman, you should join. I also encourage anyone who has ideas on how to improve the cafeteria to express them to this committee. Contact Dean of Students Laura Nicholas or any Student Government members to get in touch with the committee. You can find any of them in the Fugate Student Center.
Your idea doesn’t have to be a revolutionizing. Speak up even if you just want to see more chocolate chip cookies. Some food fanatics like myself would say it’s just as important as voting.