Dining Services’ semesterly survey is critical for gauging student and faculty satisfaction with their work, according to Dennis Pierce, executive director of the Department of Dining Services.
This semester’s survey will be sent to students around Thanksgiving, said Pierce, and he greatly encourages every student to take the time to fill it out. Pierce said though the survey is short, it is a key part of Dining Services’ reflection upon its merits and pitfalls.
“It’s a relatively brief online one with an open-ended question in the end,” Pierce said. “The rest of it you just need to fill it out, and it helps us immensely because it’s an assessment that we review and dissect and look at it to see not only what levels of satisfaction there are but also how are our menus doing, are there some groups that feel like they’re not getting enough offerings?”
The survey fills a variety of goals and is critical for getting a pulse on people’s general feelings regarding the work Dining Services does, Pierce said. Students need to express their opinions, both good and bad, so Dining Services can take the proper next steps.
“We do one survey a semester, and it helps us in so many, many ways,” Pierce said. “It guides us to get a sense of a level of satisfaction, what we’re falling short on, and sometimes you do get remarks saying ‘Can we have this, can we have that,’ and some of them are not financially feasible, but it’s good to gauge the overall satisfaction.”
After receiving feedback from students regarding complaints they have, Dining Services will look into the data itself, Pierce said. He said Dining Services tries to reflect upon what they’re currently doing and what they need to change.
“You have to look at actual numbers and say, ‘Okay, is there a vegetarian and vegan item offered on every meal? Okay, let’s start there,’” Pierce said. “‘Are there other options supporting things that may be vegetarian or vegan?’ So we start diving deeper into the question to find out.”
Despite the fact that Dining Services looks to remedy student issues as soon as possible, Pierce said students need to recognize that adapting the menus to their needs takes time. He said students should not expect to see major changes until, at the earliest, next semester.
“It’s not something that happens in a couple weeks, but either it’s going to happen in the fall, or if it’s doable it’ll happen in the spring,” Pierce said.
Thomas Alvarez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.