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Campus Dining addresses menu cycles, new dining hall technology during senate meeting

On Wednesday night, the Notre Dame student senate met in the Montgomery Auditorium at LaFortune Student Center to discuss campus enrichment activities, dining hall updates and amendments to the constitution regarding informed debate during meetings. 

During executive announcements, director of diversity and inclusion Jill Maudlin, gave a progress update on the initiatives completed thus far as well as upcoming events. 

“Today, I would like to briefly highlight the accomplished initiatives of Accessibility Leadership Fellows, accessible seating and allyship campaign,” Maudlin said. “Regarding the Accessibility Leadership Fellows, my department worked with Sara Bea Accessibility Services and created a program that provides mentorship to students using Sara Bea for the first time in addition to building community among disabled students.”

The department has 25 students participating in the program and is expecting an even larger number next year. 

Maudlin said a webpage section that includes information on accessible seating for each campus athletic venue has been created in partnership with Notre Dame Athletics. The department’s allyship campaign has taught the Notre Dame community about how to be allies to the disabled community through posters in the 32 residence halls detailing wheelchair etiquette and advice on allyship, Maudlin said. She highlighted the next projects for the department including dorm accessibility recommendations and inclement weather transportation plan. 

Student body vice president Sofie Stitt continued with the announcements and reminded the senate to schedule Senate Chat Office Hours, GreeNDot Training requirement for pertinent members of Student Government, volunteers needed for Exploration Week, Midterm Debate, Coffee and Bagels with Office of Residential Life and Residential Life Hall visits. 

Moving through the rest of announcements, Maudlin encouraged the senate to wear orange next Monday in light of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

“It’s a neurological pain disorder usually affecting one or more limbs. I have it, so it’s very important to me. It’s super rare and very under researched, so awareness is super great,” Maudlin said. 

Campus Dining senior director Luigi Alberganti later addressed changes to Campus Dining and prospective projects. Over the summer, Campus Dining had conversations on contracts, talent and financial concerns.

“We had a 28-day menu cycle and we reduced it to 14 so you can see more things more often,” Alberganti said. 

Senior executive chef Gregory Larson said the dining halls will see a new menu cycle in the near future.

“It’s probably a bit too soon, but we’re bringing a whole new menu cycle in so you’ll see two different menu cycles per semester. This allows us to menu for more seasonality, get things as local as possible and some different strategies,” Larson said. 

Larson said there has been mixed feedback about the increase of technology in North Dining Hall.

“We hope we’ve worked some of the connectivity issues …We’re hoping that in the future, we’ll provide a better service experience for you with reducing lines and offer different menu concepts that are quick service,” Larson said. “We are getting to an area where we could provide fresher food for your customizable view, and this is step one of that.”

South Dining Hall will see a similar technology change with allergy sensitive options through a la carte customization in January 2023, he said. 

Alberganti ended with an announcement that robot food service would be available during the final home football gameas a taste of what’s to come in the spring semester. 

Stitt moved on to general orders and initiated debate on SO 2223-12, an order to amend the senate bylaws to ensure informed debate and effective agendas. The motion to pass the amendment failed, but the motion to postpone the amendment discussion to next week passed. 

Finally, the senate held a brief overview of upcoming topics for the next meeting and moved to announcements from any senate members on events.

Contact Sophia Torcelino at storceli@nd.edu.

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