On Thursday, March 1, two representatives from the UC San Diego Housing Dining Hospitality met with the Thurgood Marshall College Student Council to address a number of concerns. Assistant Director of Operations Leo Acosta and Senior Foodservice Manager Scott Spangler attended the meeting as liaisons.
Out of a number of topics that were brought up, most of the issues were focused on the improvement of some dining halls and markets. Issues of cross-contamination between vegetarian and meat options were addressed, as well as posting more comprehensive ingredient lists for allergy information and gluten-free options.
Basic Needs Representative Angela Huang brought up the issue of HDH employees burning themselves on heating lamps at Goody’s Place. The representatives said that they were working on a thermal sleeve as well as other types of protective equipment but also explained that it is difficult to address worker injuries if the employee does not come forward.
The council’s commuter representative noted that a lot of the recycling in dining halls is contaminated by students putting non-recyclable waste in the recycle bins and asked Casas and Spangler what they are doing to address the issue.
The representatives responded by saying that they are looking into better educating students about which articles of trash go into which bin. Another admittedly aggressive option they are considering is having their “Econauts” stand near the trash during the busy hours of operation to assist people with sorting waste.
Acosta and Spangler also said that they are considering reusable and sustainable dishware as a more eco-friendly option. Their concerns with introducing this kind of system are the increased water usage that would result from having to wash the dishware, as well as the potential for students stealing supplies and leaving them in heaps around housing areas, which they say costs HDH thousands of dollars to replace every year.
In addition to addressing concerns raised by council members, the HDH representatives made a few exciting announcements for the future.
“Starting this fall, we will begin to serve hot breakfast at the Spice station in OceanView Terrace from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” Spangler announced. “It will be 100-percent kosher and will include French toast, our own version of breakfast sandwiches, and so on.”
In addition to this, they announced that Bistro will be open on the weekends starting this fall, and they will also install a freestanding Coke Freestyle machine in OceanView Terrace.
There are also preparations underway to potentially relocate Goody’s Market from Marshall College to one of the new, upcoming colleges due to the current construction taking place on campus.
“We have to move eventually,” Acosta said. “The decision will be made at the appropriate time.”
Finally, the Guardian asked Acosta and Spangler about some raw chicken that ended up as a meme on social media.
“We are aware of the memes. We tried reaching out to the person who was served undercooked chicken, but no one has come forward” Acosta told the Guardian. “We have protocol in place to make corrective action but only when people file a complaint.”
HDH will hold an open forum on Wednesday, March 7 in Revelle College. The purpose is to hear feedback from students about their concerns and offer suggestions for improvement.