USG talks concerns with CulinArt dining options

Written By Amanda Andrews, USG Beat Writer

CulinArt representatives responded to an informal question and answer session from United Student Government (USG) and anyone in attendance at this week’s USG Legislative Body meeting.

The session lasted just shy of an hour as CulinArt General Manager Kristy Weiss and other CulinArt managers fielded questions from students.

Concerns from students covered a variety of areas including, but not limited to, expanding vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring good quality of food, discrepancies with the pricing in the Point Cafe, preventing cross contamination and problems with the weekend hours of all the dining facilities on campus.

Last year, CulinArt revised the hours for the Point Cafe on Saturday after pressure from students. Weiss believes that she and her team may finalize a solution for Sunday hours for the spring semester. 

“I would love after we roll out some new ideas that we come back maybe a couple weeks after at the beginning of next semester and hear what your thoughts are,” Weiss said. “One year what works great may not be that for the next year. So this is why these kinds of meetings are really helpful for us because we kind of live on a whim of change […] because you have to see who’s out there these days, what is the new trend and things like that.”

Weiss discussed another solution, and suggested students bring up issues directly with CulinArt staff as it happens. However, president Pro-Tempore Megan Ortego argued that students’ lifestyles and responsibilities made that option very difficult.

“But I think a problem that students run into frequently is that we’re on the go and would love to grab one of you guys, [the CulinArt employees], and say something and call out the problem as it is,” Ortego said. ‘But as being students who are grabbing something and leaving to go to class, it’s hard to do that.”

However, not everyone had a complaint to address to the CulinArt representatives. The Pop-Up cafes, as well as certain items on the Point Cafe menu, received high praise from students at the meeting.

In other business, USG recognized Connect Unplugged, a club designed to dismantle cliques and connect people through peer activities and planned retreats. A representative from the new club, Megan Reiff, described the inspiration behind the idea of Connect Unplugged and its purpose.

One of the reasons that drove her to create this club was a claim at this past summer’s freshmen orientation that Point Park University was “cliquey.” Through her former experience with Connect Unplugged, Reiff hopes to break down social barriers on campus. 

“This organization was at my high school and high schools surrounding me in my area as well as three other colleges,” Weiss said.  “It basically works to deform cliques and show people that you can connect with people that you never really thought that you could and become friends with people you never thought you’d ever meet and makes you feel more confident in yourself and builds relationships easier.”

Anyone is welcome to come to the meetings, according to Reiff. USG voted in favor of recognizing Connect Unplugged with only two opposed and one abstention. 

Applications for the USG Parliamentarian position were due on Monday at 4 p.m. and President Kaylee Kearns reported that six applications had been received and would be reviewed at the executive council’s and advisors’ earliest convenience.