New dining provider addresses concerns, committee chairs selected

The Student Government Association (SGA) voted on committee chairs and invited representatives from Chartwells Higher Education to address concerns about dining on campus at their general meeting on Thursday.

Chartwells took over as the campus dining service over the summer, after Suffolk’s contract with Sodexo ended.

Chartwells Regional Vice President Tracy Treadwell and General Manager Mike Edwards answered questions from senators regarding dining and sustainability concerns.

Casey raised concerns about Chartwells use of single-use containers around campus.

“The dining provider here, regardless of the company, is always the largest producer of waste on our campus,” said Casey.

According to Treadwell, Chartwells makes conscious efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by tracking their waste, buying from local farms, composting and donating food to local pig farmers.

She added that reusable to-go containers may be seen in Suffolk’s dining halls in the future.

Kuhlmann asked about options for those with dietary restrictions and the possibility of Chartwells instituting the use of reusable silverware.

“For students with religious or medical dietary restrictions, it is especially important to ensure the prevention of cross-contamination and the proper preparation of food,” said Kuhlman.

Treadwell said that all chicken in the dining hall would be halal in the coming weeks.

In regards to reusable silverware, Treadwell said the size of Suffolk’s facilities does not accommodate a dishwasher big enough to clean a large amount of silverware.

“It’s just the limitations of the space, really. It’s not something we’re not doing in other locations, it’s just the way in which we’re designed here,” she said.

SGA E-board presents during meeting. (James Bartlett)

Treadwell also said Chartwells is considering adding a smoothie bar in the Smith Café in the Samia Academic Building.

Edwards said that although Chartwells is still adjusting to the environment of Suffolk, they are open to student feedback.

“We’re taking this opportunity, being new to the community, and being respectful of that… it’s a learning experience for us,” Edwards said. “Any opportunity [for feedback], positive or negative, is a teaching moment for us.”

Students can submit feedback through Suffolk’s dining website.

Class of 2023 Senator JD Conte was selected as chair of the Student Affairs Committee and Class of 2022 Logan Casey was selected as chair of the Public Relations Committee. Class of 2024 Senator Maegan Kuhlmann was selected as chair of the Housing and Facilities Committee, while Senator-at-Large Mason Sawyer Lafferty was selected as chair of the Academics Committee.