Meeting Minutes – October 10, 2008

Posted on October 10th, 2008 by

Present: Jim Dontje,Judy Douglas, Deborah Downs Miers, Stacey Gerken, Kate Goodpaster, Lisa Heldke, Cindy Johnson Groh, Joe Lencioni, Marilla MacGregor, John Mattson, Lucas Neher, Kayla Tacke, Angela Yahnke

THE NET: Who said they’d do what?

  • GustieWare subcommittee: Lucas (, Angela (, Jim (, Judy (, Deborah ( (See below for details)
  • Meeting with president subcommittee: Deborah (, John (, Jim (, Lucas (  (See below for details)
  • Cabinet meeting on the Farm to College Survey: Lisa will schedule this onto our agenda for a future meeting.
  • Chill Out: Angela and Lucas will work together to put together a table for this November 6 event. Lisa will provide them with Cabinet-related handouts. Other Cabinet members should also consider distributing flyers about their own projects (such as the garden).


Committee members introduced themselves and described their own interests in the work of the Cabinet. Lisa spoke briefly about the purposes of the Cabinet, and its dual charge to serve in an advisory capacity to the Dining Services director, and in an outreach and educational role to the Gustavus community.

Intern report

Angela Yahnke, the fall Choices at the Table intern, reported on her activities this fall to date. Her work will focus on the following initiatives:

  • Serving as a liaison or conduit for students with a question for Dining Services, organizations wishing to sponsor an event held in Dining Service, and organizations that wish to earn money for their organization by working for Dining Service. To facilitate this, she holds office hours on Thursdays at 4:30-5:30 p.m. and Fridays at 10-11 a.m.
    • She sent a letter to all student groups, informing them of her availability and discussing the services with which she is able to help them.
  • Working to advertise the GustieWare program, through newspaper ads, letters to the editor, GAC TV spots, table tents in the EYDR, and other public media.
    • She’ll be conducting a “woman on the street” poll of students about GustieWare usage.
  • Participating in the Global Focus program, by helping organizations think about using Chinese cuisine in their special events, and by creating table tents that inform diners about Chinese cuisine “beyond egg rolls.”
    • She’s planning to create an event similar to a “speed dating” or “progressive dinner” event, that would give diners opportunities to talk about questions related to the Global Focus program

GustieWare brainstorming session

Following on the heels of Angela’s report, we strategized some additional ways to promote the GustieWare program.

  • Some preliminary observations:
    • This process takes time—perhaps four years’ time
    • This is about people living their values. This might seem like a small opportunity to do so, but if small opportunities aren’t taken, it’s not clear that larger ones will be either.
    • Responsibility for the implementation of this program must be broad and diverse; it must move not just beyond Steve, but beyond Dining Service. The Cabinet can serve an important educational role in making this program work.
  • Some specific proposals, identified by the proposer:
    • Angela could create a “social norming” poster or series of posters that show what “most Gusties do.” (Judy)
    • Cabinet members can thank people whom you see returning GustieWare; creating a positive “buzz” about the program by giving credit to people using it well (Deborah)
    • Dining Services staff might invite diners who ask for a paper box to choose GustieWare instead, to raise awareness of its existence.  (Marilla)
    • What about a day of no to-go containers, to show what it’s like? (Judy? John?)
    • Bring in other organizations, such as Senate, CVR, etc. to talk about the significance of the program. (Stacey)
    • Solicit the help of FTS instructors, perhaps by encouraging them to bring their students on a tour of Dining Services to educate them about the facility the way that students learn about International Ed and the Career Center. (Deborah)
    • Create a small subcommittee of the Cabinet, expressly for the purpose of developing GustieWare educational initiatives. That committee includes, but is not limited to: Lucas (, Angela (, Jim (, Judy (, Deborah ( This committee will consult with Steve and with other responsible parties, but will work independently to develop programs that aim to “bring ‘em back.”
    • (Note: Lisa the frustrated ad man, has a series of posters that have been laminated and will be going up above campus garbage cans soon. If you’d like your very own set, she can email them to you.)

Sustainability and horn tooting

Deborah encouraged us to think interconnectedly about the work the college is doing, and also to think about how we can more effectively trumpet that work to the external world. Some specific ideas follow. They include a note of any known efforts on campus to address the idea, followed by the name of the person who noted the effort

  • Creating a garden/farm on campus. (Jim has a group of students in his ES class exploring this possibility; they visited St. Olaf this fall.)
  • Composting (Jim has a group exploring this as well. This is something explored last year, and Jim hopes that something might emerge that joins Gustavus to the city, in a genuinely sustainable effort.)
  • Recycling (Jim has a group of students working with custodial staff on “Recyclemania,” a competition that raises the profile of recycling across campus.)
  • (Jim mentioned the Sustainable Farming Association Bush Grant, on which Gustavus is a participant. This grant aims to investigate the question “where is our next generation of farmers coming from?”)
  • The Farm to College organization has a survey on its website that is worth examining. (Judy suggested that the Cabinet could use a meeting to work through some of the survey.)
  • Think big! Get food issues included in the Gustavus 150 campaign. Use information from the strategic plan. Move sustainability from a “niche” issue in the campaign to a more inclusive, overarching one. (John)
  • As soon as possible, meet with President Ohle to discuss sustainability as a larger campus issue that deserves a higher billing in the capital campaign. A subcommittee consisting of Deborah (, John (, Jim (, Lucas ( will schedule a meeting. They will also create a draft document of a “white paper,” and will solicit input from the rest of the Cabinet.

Global focus

Lisa spoke briefly about ways to consider using the Dining Service in planning Global Focus events. Resources (including cookbooks) are available in Dining Service.

Chill Out

Judy invited the group to consider hosting a table at this event on November 6. Because of its timing, the group delegated Angela to take this on, in concert with Lucas (from Senate) and any other student groups that might be interested in this issue. The table could include:

  • Info about the Kitchen Cabinet
  • Info about the internship
  • A small Chinese food treat

Angela and Lucas will work on this event. Lisa will provide them with written info about the Cabinet and the internship. (Others are invited to submit to them info about their projects, such as the garden venture.)


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