Student Center Advisory Council approves new food policy

Highlights of the Student Center Advisory Council’s first spring semester meeting on Feb. 5 include food policy expansions and unaffiliated client policies.

Currently, the food and beverages policy says food served in the Student*University must come from Flavours by Sodexo. Under special circumstance, an approved caterer can be used, according to the Student Center’s website.
Sodexo is an outsourced catering company that can provide coffee service, outdoor picnic or full-service waited staff, according to the PantherDining website.

The International Student Associations Council (ISAC) requested for multicultural food options to be allowed in their events during the Student Government Association’s last meeting; the Student*University Center reviewed and approved the new Veterans Memorial Hall policy.

The approved food policy will give organizations new guidelines for bringing commercial and non-commercial foods into Veterans Memorial Hall and West Exhibit Hall.

The new food policy states any outside commercial food provider can be brought if the group consults with a Sodexo representative, have the outside caterer request form in 15 business days prior and obtain the caterer’s business license.

The group would also need to take full responsibility for the outside caterer used, according to the policy.
To bring non-commercially prepared food, the organization must also talk to a Sodexo representative and submit a non-commercially prepared food request form.

If an organization chooses to bring non-commercially prepared food, they would also need to have members attend food safety training lasting an hour and thirty minutes. During the training they would have a 15 question assessment and would have to answer 12 out of 15 correctly to pass, according to the policy.

Organizations could also choose a self-study option where they would read a booklet and then take the food safety assessment, according to the policy.

Marlena Collins, Georgia State senior and former president of national honor society Alpha Lamba Delta, said the new food policy is a good idea.

“It’s also not fair to just a general business model that you are required to use one supplier like Panther Dining,” she said.

Georgia State senior accounting major Autiena Johnson said the policy is great for students because it allows groups to have more selections than just PantherDining.

“Most [of] the clients here are not from outside vendors. It’s from the students that’s using their facilities,” Johnson said. “Panther Dining is not going to offer things for an Asian culture or a Jamaican culture. People prepare things different.”

The proposed snack food policy

The policy requests for the expansion of the snack food list to include foods like chicken wings or a veggie tray. A snack food waiver would still need to be filled out.

Under the proposed policy pizza and sandwich snack foods would not be allowed in the ballroom and auditorium. Additionally, food must be disposed after three hours and cold food would be kept on ice.

Organizations would also need to attend food safety training, according to the snack food waiver policy proposal.
Collins said the policy would beneficial because organizations face limitations within the current food policy making them not want to book rooms on campus.

“It can make things frustrating at times when you are the person in charge of booking all those things,” she said.
Johnson said the snack food policy should allow organizations to submit a list of the foods they plan to bring to then have it get accepted. She also said its not fair to control the types foods organizations can bring.

“I really don’t think there should be a control on what people can bring. You are telling people basically what they can eat,” Johnson said.

This policy will be voted on during the next meeting, according to Director of the Student*University Center Boyd Beckwith.

The proposed unaffiliated client policy

Beckwith said very few non-Georgia State groups use the university’s facilities because the groups can only the request three months before the event day.

The policy proposes an expansion of the amount of time an outside group has to reserve a space in the Student*University Center, according Beckwith.

“We can increase our revenue significantly in the summer because, except for Incept, this building is dead in the summer,” he said.