By Natalie Risser
Once a month the Food Advisory Board meets in Viewpoints (upstairs and to the right in South Dining Hall) to discuss issues and suggestions for the dining venues across campus.
Each residence hall has representatives who take criticism and feedback to the meeting and present it to the managers of each dining location. This criticism is often gathered through Hall Council or FAB bulletin boards, although any student can attend the meeting and bring up issues concerning their experiences.
FAB’s mission statement is “To provide an opportunity for students to become involved with their campus dining program. To create an environment whereby the students and management can meet and discuss current dining issues, and provide the best possible nutritional food service program that offers a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle for the members of the campus community.”
After representing Beck Hall for just two meetings, FAB’s goals and intentions became far clearer to me than portrayed by this motto. The managers of each dining area show dedication in immediately resolving issues and sincerity in improving the dining experience.
Unfortunately, the meetings are only once a month, but the managers insist that most issues can be solved right after they
happen. There is generally a supervisor at each eating location that is there to solve any problems that may arise.
By attending and participating in FAB, I have made realizations about food and the importance of it. Being a part of the food community causes you to actively think about your food intake and output. As a university and as individuals, it is important to be aware of this as it impacts our own wellbeing through our bodies and our environment.
In addition to food, FAB is concerned with managing waste. A step toward maintaining this awareness with students is done through an event called “Weigh your Waste”, where volunteers weigh the food after dinner in the Southside Cafe, which is upstairs at South Dining Hall. Over 250 pounds of food was thrown out from that one meal, at that one location.
Although this does bring awareness to the issue, it by no means solves it. Many of these waste issues come down to an individual level where students are careless or uneducated about their impact. Food not only connects us to friends when we’re all hanging out in the dining hall, but it leaves a footprint in our bodies and on our world. Some of most important steps to achieving a positive impact versus a negative one start with FAB.
The next meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8 at Viewpoints.