Meeting Minutes – April 28, 2008 Posted on April 28th, 2008 by

Present: Jim Dontje, Lauren Fulner, Colin Gettle, Lisa Heldke, Al Molde, Kayla Tacke, Andi Twiton

To Go Box Rollout Ideas

In the absence of Dining Services Director Steve Kjellgren, the KC allowed itself to engage in some flights of fancy, “yes-and” thinking, experimental design, and otherwise creative inquiry about how the new returnable to-go box system might be implemented, advertised and perpetuated. The D.S. Director is of course free to take all ideas with a grain of salt—low sodium variety, of course.

  • Affix a sticker that advertises an organization or event. Select a sticker with an intentional “shelf life,” so that it will come off after a certain number of washings.
  • Get a spot at the first year orientation, to advertise the program, presenting it as “the way we do things here,” to start creating a “to-go boxreturn culture” among new students.
  • When numbers of boxes dwindle, create an incentive, such as “bring back a box and get a coupon for a free coffee.”
  • Create a contest to incentivize return: “how long will there still be containers in circulation?” (modeled perhaps after “when will the ice go out” contests)
  • Create a “bring one back in order to get one” policy, when numbers dip below a certain point.
  • Table tents with info about the program
  • Accept that there is a learning cycle about this—but that, with students, it goes pretty quickly. It can be regularized pretty quickly.
  • Have public conversations about what to do, when the containers are all gone; plan for this eventuality, and have other orgs waiting in the wings who will be ready and willing to pick up the cots of replacements.

Report from Colin

KC Intern Colin Gettle reported on the following work he’s been doing of late:

  • Creating weekly “Did You Know?” table tents
  • Work on Earth Day information sheets in conjunction with Stephanie Lewis
  • Working with geography students to do a “Pepsi Challenge” style event with water.
  • Writing up notes and recommendations for the next intern

Report from Andi

Andi Twiton led us through some of the details of the survey he conducted in the fall on the topic of to-go boxes. While the box issue has been decided, Andi pointed us to a number of other important pieces of information—and misinformation—the surveys contained. They include:

  • Misconceptions about food, especially about cost
    • KC members suggested Colin make a table tent with information
  • Custodial staff in the library report pulling many, many plates, cups and other dishes from the trash
    • While depositories are a bad idea, are they a worse idea than throwing away plates? KC members discussed various ways we might address this problem, ways that wouldn’t involve anyone being burdened, and wouldn’t result in dirty dishes sitting around for long periods of time. Could we TRY a drop box system in the library?
  • Someone posed a list of ways to re-use the bags one gets for a sandwich. (Non food uses) Perhaps a table tent with creative ideas for reusing containers.
  • Advertise the Courtyard Café as a quiet place to eat
  • Emphasize the “amnesty policy” regarding dishes coming back.
  • Teachable moments
    • what about a letter to the editor about dish costs?
    • What about a comm. Studies class doing advertising spots, e.g. on GAC T.V., about the high cost of throwing away your dishes?
  • Address the multitasking issue. Advertise dining in the caf as a gift to yourself during the day.
  • A “meet the dining services” advertisement in the WEEKLY?
  • A question drop-by hour hosted by DS staff, and held in front of the dining room.

China Year Ideas

Recognizing that next year will have a curricular and extra-curricular focus on China, the KC brainstormed ways large and small that the DS can be involved:

  • Educate palates about the range of Chinese cuisine:
  • Once per month (week?) make the Wok area focus on a regional Chinese cuisine, so that during the year, diners are exposed to the full array.
  • Perhaps invite a chef from an area Chinese restaurant to be a part of menu planning, preparing, and then discussing the food with diners. They could also “advertise” their own restaurants.
  • Put up an informational easel near the Wok, explaining something about that day’s cuisine
  • Feature Chinese music in the dining room periodically
  • Table tents featuring facts about Chinese cuisines, perhaps using the Chinese zodiac in some way.
  • Use fortune cookies that feature surprising facts about China and Chinese cuisine.
  • Disseminate to the campus the fact that Dining Service is interested in pairing with them to do China-related events.

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