Meeting Minutes – April 21, 2009

Posted on April 22nd, 2009 by

Present: Kimberly Braun, Jim Dontje, Stacey Gerken, Lisa Heldke, Steve Kjellgren, Joe Lencioni, Sujay Rao, Jordan Walker, Rebecca Welp


Dining Service Director

  • Steve reported that Bruce Johnson’s market research classes have been conducting two different nutrition surveys with students. One survey focuses on what students know; the other on what students do. It will be interesting to see how much of a disconnect exists between knowledge and behavior. He passed around copies of the first survey. The results of these surveys, along with Kimberly’s work, will give us a good, if still anecdotal, base of information from which to build some educational initiatives and programs next year.

Kitchen Cabinet Intern

  • Kimberly reported that her next Lunch and Learn will be “Stump the Nutritionist,” with George Elliot, on May 1.
  • She is working with I Am We Are directors Amy Seham and Virgil Jones to develop some social justice-style theater “events” in and near the vicinity of the Marketplace. These might focus on nutrition, or on such perennially popular topics as returning your Gustieware.

Big Hill Farm

  • Fridays on the Farm will be shown in the Interpretive Center on Thursday evening.
  • Jordan reported that this week the farm has a full slate of activities and meetings, including mapping the plots, buying tools.
  • Four interns will work with the farm this summer.
  • They’ve been having conversations with Gustavus community members with farming experience, and will be seeking conversations with area growers who have worked with Dining Services.
  • The farm is blogging!

Health Services

  • Rebecca noted that this month their focus is on sexual assault awareness.
  • Referring to an earlier mention of the upcoming I Am We Are performance of “Body Chronicles,” she suggested that the group consider doing a piece on folks who exercise for multiple hours at a time.

Johnson Center for Environmental Sustainability

  • Jim reports that he has three quotes on wind turbines! He is also able to resume work on a solar thermal project, on the backside of the Interpretive Center.

End of year tasks for the committee

A Gustieware push

  • Committee members observed that the disconnect noted with respect to nutrition knowledge and nutrition choices also obtains when it comes to returning Gustieware. They also noted the importance of peer pressure.
  • The following folks volunteered to undertake some specific action to prompt the return of Gustieware:
    • Steve will contact one of the fraternities that is currently seeking fundraising opportunities, to see if they would be interested in a project of collecting Gustieware for a per-piece fee.
    • Rebecca will make a table tent
    • Lisa will contact Megan Ruble about getting something about Gustieware introduced into first year orientation.
  • Other, unclaimed ideas:
    • A “thermometer” that illustrates the amount of money saved on Gustieware, or the number of boxes not sent to landfills, or….
    • A poster focusing on five things you can do today to promote sustainability

Blog posts

The following folks volunteered to make blog posts about the following topics:

  • “What happens to our food waste and excess food?” Steve. This prompted an interesting discussion about whether it would or wouldn’t be effective to advertise the buffet as being a place where we ensure that leftover food is used effectively.
  • A report on the lunch and learn learnings: Kim
  • Advertisement for an intern: Lisa

Next year agenda items

  • Developing a framework for food purchasing decision making that integrates the various “value components” embodied in food. While this will be a long term project, we will devote the next meeting to a discussion about what such a framework would even look like.
    • Sujay asked what we presently actually know about, especially, working conditions of workers for the foods we purchase. Steve noted that we have the information the companies provide about themselves, and some information from some third-party certifiers. Jordan noted that there is a book available in the bookmark (Better World Shopping Guide) that catalogues information about companies, including everything from their environmental initiatives to workers’ rights to their investment strategies.
    • The point of a framework would not be to say “this is the company from which to buy,” but rather “this is the ways we will attempt to make decisions regarding purchases. These are considerations that we will try to keep front and center.”
  • Representation: Steve highlighted the fact that the advisory committee needs to be representative of a broad swath of the Gustavus community. To that end, he asked who was missing from the table, who should be represented. Some of those groups include Greeks, athletics, off campus students, support staff workers (especially clerical and grounds crew), Student Activities, and…?


The next items we did not actually discuss at the meeting; these are some ideas I would have raised, had we not run out of time.

  • Continuing the focus on nutrition issues: brainstorming next steps. I went through our old minutes and gathered up a list of some of the ideas that have floated across our breakfast table:
    • Joe’s menu idea
    • Continue with an intern who works on nutrition issues, in a stage two effort.
    • Work with Community Service office to identify courses that might want to do nutrition-related projects for the Dining Service-e.g. nursing
    • Continue “Lunch and Learn”
    • Create some info for organizations when ordering snacks, that would help them think about choices that will promote good brain activity, pick up energy, etc., at various times of the day. [Okay, I added that one. We haven’t really discussed it at a meeting.]
  • Planning for 2010-11: Global Focus and Nobel are both about food
    • The publicist who works with Nobel has encouraged us to think about some sort of Nobel-related “meal of the week” to feature each week before the Nobel Conference. This might be featured at one station in the servery, and might somehow connect with a different speaker each week. Perhaps we could ask speakers what their idea of a “good” meal is, where they take good to mean whatever they think is most important. This could be good publicity.
    • Thinking about ways we can make the Dining Service’s services visible to organizations who want to plan events related to the Global Focus.

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