CulinArt general manager addresses food concerns; students voice issues

Photo by Chloe Jakiela
Kristy Weiss, director of dining services, discusses student complaints and recent food service changes during the current transition period at CulinArt, at a USG meeting Monday.

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

With increasing discrepancies and concern in the food service on campus, its general manager spoke with student government Monday to address them.

“We want you to come [to us] with your problems,” Kristy Weiss, general manager of CulinArt at Point Park, said to United Student Government (USG) and other students on Monday.

The student government and students brought several concerns to Weiss’ attention regarding the service at both the dining hall and the Point Café.

Treasurer Amedea Baldoni voiced concern of the expired soda that was sold in the café a few weeks ago. Expired soda dating back to November were on the shelves.

“It will never happen again,” Weiss responded to Baldoni.

Weiss said that things happen, but with the new storage unit, it is unlikely to happen again.

“[The situation] got overlooked unfortunately,” Weiss continued on how the soda got on the shelves in the first place.

Senator Riley Frank, who has a nut allergy, voiced her discomfort after asking one of the employees to change their gloves after making a salad with walnuts for a previous student. Although the employee did change their gloves, she felt they were not as “accommodating” as they should have been.

Parliamentarian Charles Murria, who has an egg allergy, echoed the same concern when denied a made-to-go breakfast sandwich without an egg.

“We still have a long way to go,” Weiss said.

Weiss also addressed concerns about the café and cafeteria’s hours of operation on the weekends, as the students complain of services being closed at certain times.

“[From] a financial standpoint, we have to pick and choose things we stay open for,” Weiss said.

Dean of Student Affairs Michael Gieseke also elaborated, saying that a large portion of the student body does not use the services as much as they would during the week.

But Weiss said that the food service hopes to change to alleviate problems and also hopes to be more involved with the student body by holding events.

Other concerns brought to USG’s attention included the playing of Fox News in the computer lab on the second floor of Thayer Hall.

“Why are we showing that?” Jordan Malloy, a senior student, asked USG. “It’s not good for our learning environment.”

She cited student concerns that were mentioned to her, claiming the playing of the news channel “makes people uncomfortable.”

USG President Blaine King told her that he will “definitely look into that.”

Malloy also voiced concern over a meeting with international students and the university’s President Paul Hennigan.

“I didn’t hear anything about it,” Malloy said.

Sen. Shayna Mendez, an international student from Jamaica, said the meeting was to inform students on what that means in regards to students’ visa statuses after U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

She also said it was to reaffirm where the university stands on the situation as Hennigan sent out a letter to students and faculty two weeks ago saying the university is an “inclusive” environment.

Continuing the meeting, in order to reflect the current student government, the election application for president and vice president was amended.

Previously, United Student Government elections were held and broken up by year and school classification.

For example, a student could run as a freshman senator representing the School of Communication while another student ran for senior representative of the same school.

However, after a referendum in the 2015-2016 school year, student government members are elected on the basis of only school. This means that one can run for one of the six open positions for each respective school rather than being separated by class, as a result of USG wanting to be more inclusive instead of restricting students by class.

USG also approved the Broadcast Education Association’s $400 for plane tickets to a broadcast conference in Las Vegas.

Although outside the funding period, Sen. Hannah Steiner said that since the organization became formally recognized recently and that the tickets need to be bought before the next funding window.

USG keeps a supplemental fund cushion in case of club and organization situations like this. It allocated $1,200 as the cushion for this semester.

In its first proclamation of the school year, USG commemorated the Globe’s 50th anniversary, which took place last week.