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Dining halls consider Grab and Go changes

Meghan Wons | Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Beginning fall of 2006, Notre Dame students may have more food options to consider when making their Grab and Go selections.

According to the Notre Dame Food Services Web site, Grab and Go was designed for students who don’t have time to sit down for a meal. With locations in both the basement of South Dining Hall and the north entrance lobby of North Dining Hall, Grab and Go currently offers a limited variety of prepackaged and portable foods such as sandwiches, veggie trays, bagels, drinks, chips, yogurt, cereals and fruit.

Each item is assigned a different number of points and students may fill their brown bags with seven points worth of food or beverages.

Student Government plans to administer surveys sometime this week to measure current student satisfaction with the system and to get feedback they can share with Notre Dame’s Food Services, student body vice president Bill Andrichik said.

“We had experimented with on-line options but will ultimately be using a paper survey with pick-up and collection sites located in the dining halls and in LaFortune,” Andrichik said. “The collection process will probably take place over study days and the first couple days of finals.”

Andrichik said all of the items of the survey have been finalized.

“We are suggesting some items that are more traditional snacks, some heated options and some items that are a little easier to bring back to the dorm and keep for a couple of days without having to use them right away,” he said. “There will be nine or ten items in total on the survey and about three or four will be chosen based upon student response.”

He said both Student Government and Food Services have approved Ramen, Easy Mac and microwaveable popcorn as a few of the feasible items.

Junior Kelly Hardy said she would like to see a greater variety of drink selections in the new Grab and Go system.

“Cans of pop would be nice instead of just milk or juice or water,” Hardy said. “We’re college students; we need caffeine and some of us just don’t drink coffee.”

John Corboy, a busy civil engineering major who estimates he uses Grab and Go about two or three times a week for lunch, said he would vote for slices of pie to be added to the Grab and Go mix.

“Cherry pie would be my first pick,” Corboy said.

After contacting Food Services’ Dave Prentkowski and talking with him about the feasibility of making changes to the Grab and Go options, Andrichik and current student body president Lizzi Shappell made Grab and Go changes part of their campaign platform when they ran for election earlier in the semester, Andrichik said.

“The Grab and Go choices were by far the most asked about part of our platform when we campaigned door to door,” he said.

Since their election, Andrichik said he and Shappell have “followed up on the initial contact we made with Food Services in order to work with them throughout the process.” Andrichik added that Food Services has been extremely helpful and have “gone through the trouble of contacting dealers, checking into space considerations, and researching prices for the suggested items. They have even provided point values for how much each item would cost students next year to aid in students’ decisions when they are ranking the items.”

Collaboration between Student Government and Food Services has resulted in “a survey that reflects student input and has the approval of Food Services,” Andrichik said.