OVT to End Buffet-Style Dining Next Year

Oceanview Terrace will revert to its a la carte-style dining beginning next year, according to Housing, Dining and Hospitality Services. OVT has been operating as an all-you-can-eat buffet since the start of the 2012–2013 academic year, but after student feedback and an organized petition, the Thurgood Marshall College dining hall will discontinue its buffet.

Marshall Senators Mariko Kuga and Dalena Nguyen noticed a dislike for the buffet during Fall Quarter 2012 and decided to take action by organizing a petition and encouraging constituents to voice their opinions during the senators’ office hours. Last quarter, Kuga and Nguyen met with A.S. President Meggie Le and drafted a petition over Thanksgiving break, planning to release the petition after it underwent the necessary checks by A.S. Council and the Thurgood Marshall College Student Council.

The petition was formally released on Change.org during Week 1 of Winter Quarter 2013, but by that time, HDH had already decided to discontinue OVT’s buffet.

According to minutes from the Jan. 10 HDH meeting, Assistant Vice Chancellor Mark Cunningham and HDH Director of Dining Steve Casad stated that for the 2013-2014 school year, OVT will no longer be an “All-You-Care-To-Eat”, and will turn back into a retail-based unit.

“Just before releasing the petition, Dalena and I sat down with Mark Cunningham, the head of HDH,” Kuga said. “He informed us during that meeting that HDH had already decided to change OVT back … as they had noticed that it wasn’t that popular with the students.” Nevertheless, the short-lived petition garnered 224 supporters on Change.org.

“The feedback we have received has been positive — although small — since the petition seemed somewhat unnecessary to students since HDH announced the buffet style would be discontinued,” Kuga said.

Regarding the entire protest process, Kuga and Nguyen said that students should not be afraid to voice the concerns they have for HDH issues.

“Students are the customers, and if they are not happy about something, [they should] voice concerns either directly to HDH or through college council,” Kuga said. “If they are unhappy, they should make it heard.”

OVT manager James Johnson was not immediately available for comment.