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Student Voice on Campus Dining and RHA Collaborate Using Mobile Text Polling to Shape the Future of Campus Dining

students using mobile text polling

Stony Brook, NY, April 10, 2015 – At a Town Hall meeting on April 6, 2015, Student Voice on Campus Dining committee members and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) met to discuss proposed changes to the food service at Stony Brook University.

The Student Voice on Campus Dining committee gathers student opinion and feedback in all aspects of the dining program and is responsible for representing each of the four neighborhoods – Roth/Tabler, Student Activities Center (SAC), Union/Jasmine and West Side Dining. RHA is a student advocacy organization that serves as resource on campus to enrich residence life. They serve to represent and protect the rights, views and concerns of the residential community on campus.

Utilizing mobile text polling for live audience participation, students were asked to identify the improvement they wanted most for next year’s dining program. Price, variety and quality were the top three improvements students expressed were needed. They were also asked to provide feedback on national brands, speed of service solutions, food trucks, hours of operation, food concept changes and the structure of the resident meal plan.

Highlights of student feedback include:

  • Students want a national brand at Toll Drive residence and dining facility with Panera Bread, Chick-fil-A/Popeyes and Subway as the top contenders.
  • Seventy-three percent of students want a mobile ordering app to increase speed of service at the Student Activities Center (SAC) food court.
  • Sixty-six percent of students would prefer an all-day breakfast concept at the Student Activities Center (SAC) food court.
  • Food trucks that offer “meals” and accept meal plans were popular with a combined 68% of students in favor of a food truck with a rotating menu and a Curry Club, Indian cuisine truck.
  • The majority of students would like West Side Dining to offer a combination of the all you care to eat and full retail dining experience.
  • To increase variety at Roth Food Court, the majority of students wish to remove the S3 concept and Red Mango and replace it with a Pasta station, Jamba Juice and a bagel concept.

town hall meeting bid map thumbnail

A map revealing what students want based on survey results ( View Larger Version)

Students expressed the need to keep the extensive hours of operation at West Side Dining open until 3:00 a.m., the Stony Brook Union open until 2:00 a.m. and Roth Food Court open until 1:00 a.m., seven days a week.

"The town hall meeting was an awesome opportunity for student leaders from across campus to shape the future of campus dining. Both RHA and Student Voice learned a lot from each other in the process and I believe this will be the beginning of a valuable partnership that will drive change for years to come," said Jason Mazza, Chair of the Student Voice on Campus Dining committee.

Additional Town Hall meetings are scheduled for April 13, 14, and 15 at 12:00 p.m. in the John S. Toll room at the Hilton Garden Inn. These meetings are an opportunity to engage with the three national campus dining food bidders, Aramark, Compass One and Sodexo to learn more about each bidder’s program and proposed vision for Stony Brook Campus Dining Services. There will be a 15 minute presentation and 45 minutes of questions and answers.

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