Last Tuesday, the Student Assembly Executive Cabinet discussed a possible trayless policy for the Sadler Center dining hall.
According to the SA cabinet minutes, Secretary for Student Life Liz Thomas recommended that the dining hall go trayless by fall 2009. In addition, they reported that the establishment should go trayless through a gradual reduction of the number of trays available.
However, Thomas stated that all facts discussed in the meeting were still in the discussion phase and could change at any time.
“We don’t want to put things out before they’re finalized,” she said.
According to Dining Services Director Phil DiBenedetto, effectively changing the policies of a dining hall consists of more than simply having a student consensus on the issue.
DiBenedetto said that more research needs to be done before Dining Services can ascertain whether or not going trayless will be beneficial to the Sadler Center.
“Before we need to do anything, we need to study it,” he said. “We need to study the customer in the location [where] we are going to implement the new policy.”
Moreover, DiBenedetto cited that traylessness may not be appropriate for the Sadler Center because of the dining hall’s fairly compact design. The flow of customers is considerably tight throughout the area, so the convenience of holding a tray to keep food together is greater at that particular location.
According to DiBenedetto, traylessness at the Caf worked because there was more space and a greater flow capacity. However, DiBenedetto said that before the Caf went trayless, dining services held several studies to decide whether or not traylessness would be appropriate.
“Our job is to keep the College at the forefront of what is going on,” he said. “we have to study it. It’s not fair to the customers otherwise.”
In addition, DiBenedetto stated that if the Sadler Center were to go trayless, it would have the same policies as the Caf. Therefore, even if a student asks for a tray, unless the student has a clear handicap, there will be no trays available.
“For certain things, everyone should be involved,” he said.
DiBenedetto said that some examples of the research that needed to be done would be interviewing random students, conducting online surveys and discussing the new policy with students in the residence hall meetings that Dining Services conducts every semester.
DiBenedetto said that the students are the most integral part of the whole process.
“Overall, I think we do a good job,” he said. “But without you guys, we aren’t here.”