Kitchen Cabinet Meeting Minutes April 15, 2013

Posted on April 16th, 2013 by

Kitchen Cabinet
April 15, 2013

Present: Erin Traxler, Rebecca Hare, Paul Matzke, Lisa Heldke, Steve Kjellgren, Ken Westphal, George Elliott, Judy Douglas, Bob Douglas, Laura Burgstahler, Dawn Comstock, Saskia Raether, Mark Hanson, Jack Healy, Braden Schmid, Jim Dontje, Steve Bennett

Tobacco Free Campus
Dawn, Laura, Jack and Braden attended KC to discuss the current effort on campus to become a Tobacco Free Campus. Dawn has been working with Nissa Fell from Health Service. Dawn reported that 32 schools and colleges in Minnesota are tobacco free or smoke free (and yes, there is a difference). Gustavus began discussing becoming a Tobacco Free Campus in 2008. 64% of employers are tobacco free which is one reason Gustavus is moving forward and looking ahead to the future. At present the group has been meeting with invested individuals and a survey was completed in 2011 that revealed there is a shift toward a tobacco free campus. Lisa asked what the process is in moving forward and how does the group see KC fitting into the plans. The next steps are to meet with Student Senate, Faculty Senate. The question did come up “what happened last year in Student Senate, it seemed as if the topic just “hit the wall””. Erin pointed out that Student Senate wants to represent everybody and there was not enough feedback last year from the students. Student Senate is approachable (two things senate considered: did not want to make a decision for all students, and one of the concerns was with faculty and staff and not having enough data from that group). There will be promotion events at Relay for Life and the Wellness Fair which is being held next week. The group has also met with Cabinet members – this would be a Cabinet level decision as well as a Board of Trustees decision.
American Lung association is working on making day care’s smoke free as there is new information emerging regarding third hand smoke – most elementary and high schools are already tobacco free. The group noted that the next step would be talking to people who are smoking on campus and how they feel about the campus becoming Tobacco Free. It was noted that last year there was a Campus Tobacco Forum and only 4 students attended and it was very well advertised. A few points Braden made that the group recognizes that second hand smoke is not always the issue, they also want to help make Gustavus a healthy place and a place that makes healthy lifestyle decisions, it can be good from an admission standpoint if students are looking for a healthy campus and from an employer standpoint healthcare insurance premiums may be more affordable.
The Greens
Rebecca asked for feedback in reference to the email Steve had sent out about using a collection machine for Gustieware. The email that was sent out did not have a lot of responses and she was wondering what feedback KC had. She wondered if once the machines had been in place for a while, would students use them and would they work better than what is currently happening. Gustieware has been in existence about five to six years and the hope was that overtime the campus in general would be conditioned to return Gustieware to its rightful place – the kitchen where it can be washed and reused. At present the program is cost neutral and Dining Service does send out staff daily to collect Gustieware from the Residence halls. This is a campus wide program and issue and it really has to come through peer interaction. A question did come up if the Residence halls could be more proactive and could the community of the Residence hall be more responsible in getting the Gustieware back to the kitchen, if everyone just took ownership for what they were doing the program would be successful.
Compost Update
Jim gave us an update on the compost project. The curing shed is ordered (hopefully will go up in May), the composter has been ordered for a while; the green house should be finalized any day. The USDA has been providing grants so the Greenhouse provider has been selling about ten greenhouses a day, which means he has been super busy. The technical details are sorted out it is just finalizing everything for the Green house. The Greenhouse will be used on campus and Big Hill Farm; next level would be community garden. Our Dining Service guests will be a part of this as well, all of our paper goods will be compostable, but the question is compostable under what conditions. Hopefully there will be many projects for environmental study. Hopefully there will be a marriage of who works at Big Hill Farm and the compost project. It is very clear that the students wanted ownership of the farm and Jim does not involve himself in the hiring of the next interns, this is the fourth year in a row that the farm has been successful in operations. The next step is a business plan and that has taking longer than it was initially thought.
Good Food for Busy Gusties
Steve Bennett discussed “Good Food for Busy Gusties” .April 29 will be the last cooking event for this school year. The Co-op is still interested in partnering with us even though the Outreach Coordinator we were working with resigned. There is a survey in the works to get out to students and that is hoping to go out soon. Well Being National Advisory Board will be on campus on April 25 and we will discuss this program at that time and are looking for feedback from the group. It was also noted that the March Good Food for Busy Gusties was cancelled due to lack of participation and that is the concern, can this program be sustained by the students as a whole. Although this is separate from Good Food for Busy Gusties it was noted that Heather Dale’s program “Dinner in a Box” has been wildly successful and more slots were added as the boxes were all checked out. So it appears as if someone on campus wants to be cooking.
Coke Grant
The Committee met and they are looking at request for proposals for next year. The group is currently tweaking what has been put together so it can be refined.
We are having a reception for grantee’s for this year’s cycle on April 26 at 2:30 – it will be in the Heritage Room, each one of the grantee’s will talk about their project – Garage Sale, Bike Storage, light boxes in the library, wellbeing assessment, labyrinth in the Arboretum, SAVE’s project which was pre and post workout snacks and healthy eating in general, Wellbeing fair, yoga mats (sum total of 8 grants). There will be just one round of applications for next year.
Steve did meet with Minnesota Valley Action Council (MVAC). MVAC has purchased the Johnson Fishing building in Mankato, it is currently under renovation, and it will be the warehouse and offices for this latest endeavor. Steve described MVAC history and how it originally began as an attempt to put people in to the community to work – it morphed into becoming government dependent and now with a lot of the government funding being cut it is looking to get back to its roots where they don’t rely on the funding. MVAC is seeking ways from the community where there is an opportunity to put people to work doing meaningful jobs that are useful to the community. We have all these small farms around that area that are growing food and we purchase from some of these places, wouldn’t it be great if this warehouse could be the hub and not only would we be able to purchase more and perhaps a greater variety, but other businesses would also have that opportunity and it would be more streamlined. At present the earliest this might happen would be 2014.
Ponder This . . .
May is the last meeting of the school year – what do we want to think about for next year, is there an important and meaningful project that we might want to take on for the coming year.


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