Presidential Perspectives

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Most students at Carnegie Mellon University have, at one time or another, complained about the school?s dining. Tim Michael, the former head of Housing Services, was chosen to take charge of the newly formed Housing and Dining Services. The merger of these two student services seemed to be inevitable, as most students generally view the two departments functioning as one.

Since the joining, there have been a number of changes to eating facilities on campus, including Skibo Coffeehouse?s redesign, the introduction of the create-a-block option, and the rearrangement of the dining gallery in the University Center. Tim has also created an amazing plan for the current Highlander Caf?, and when his plans come to fruition, I expect to see the renovated area well utilized.

As I mentioned last week, Tim is creating the Dining Student Advisory Council (DSAC). Last Tuesday, Tim and I sat down for a meeting to talk about the implementation of DSAC. I plan to speak with the Student Dormitory Council (SDC) in the coming days to gain their support.

I would like to eliminate SDC?s Food committee along with the Student Body Dining Committee (SBDC), following Tim?s notion that having one committee will streamline the ways we get the important information of what the students want and need. Tim is willing to let SDC and me make appointments to DSAC. I will be appointing at least one graduate student, and Tim will appoint faculty and staff to compose the 12- or 13-person committee.

I would like to see DSAC choose a point person to relay the information coming from committee meetings back to the Undergraduate Student Senate, Graduate Student Assembly, Nicolette, and me. Assuming that SDC will embrace this idea openly, DSAC could start its meetings as soon early October.

DSAC has an amazing opportunity to succeed in ways SBDC did three years ago. Tim will organize facets of the DSAC meeting in hopes of making student involvement less of a burden and therefore more successful.

I encourage all students to talk to the DSAC representative (who will be announced at a later date), and tell them what changes you would like to see to dining on campus. If you are interested in being a part of DSAC, please send me an e-mail or come speak with me during my weekly office hours.