ASUC Senate meets to discuss Campus Master Plan, Cal Dining initiatives

Addison Briggs/Staff

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The ASUC Senate met Feb. 26 to discuss Cal Dining initiatives as well as updates on the Campus Master Plan.

The meeting began with campus architect Wendy Hillis outlining plans for changes being made to campus in the coming years. Officially deemed as the Campus Master Plan, Hillis outlined setting up a vision for the campus in a more “tangible” way.

“The Campus Master Plan is really diving down a little bit more about what buildings might we tear down, what buildings might we renovate, which building will be replaced, how big would they be, kind of setting that vision … to share with people what this campus will physically look like in 15 to 20 years,” Hillis said at the meeting.

One of the concerns to be addressed in these plans is the lack of study and recreational space on campus. According to assistant planner Timothy Green, many of the social spaces on campus have become a study space, even though that is not what they were originally intended for.

Another concern to be addressed is community wayfinding especially for freshmen to help make navigating campus more clear and solve issues of proper lighting, especially at night, according to Green.

The creation of these plans has been nine months in the making out of a two-year process. They expect these documents to be approved in summer 2021.

Executive Director of Cal Dining Christopher Henning was also in attendance at the meeting addressing goals for the dining halls and campus dining options, including the reduction of food waste, healthier drink options, expanding menu options and open transparency in health inspections.

One of the newer initiatives being taken is the establishment of the Community Cafe, inspired by the University of Kentucky’s dollar cafe, which will provide students with one entree and two sides for the one dollar. It will be open Monday through Friday.

During questioning, ASUC Senator Rocky Gerosa mentioned the alleged harassment of a former Cal Dining employee and Cal Dining’s handling of the situation.

“She is only one of three people who have filed a complaint as a student for similar things,” Gerosa alleged at the meeting. “There’s a broader trend within Cal Dining.”

Gerosa continued to allege that Cal Dining seems to only be offering “band-aid solutions to a more fundamental problem.”

Henning said he was aware of the issue and focused most of his response around the “cultural environment” of Cal Dining and how it can be better improved to create a safe cultural space.

Henning also emphasized that Cal Dining is collaborating with PATH to Care to help managers work with implicit and explicit biases and ensure management is trained properly. 

The senate passed two bills at the meeting, including approving a contract with the Wall Street Journal for free subscriptions for students and resolving countback tabulation irregularities involving the vacancy and removal of senators.

Audry Jeong is a student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @audryjng_dc.