Food Advisory Board re-established to shape the future of on-campus dining

Sun, 2016/10/23

In recent years, a body composed of students, Illinois Tech Dining Services staff, and university administration have met twice a month to discuss major decisions involving Sodexo’s dining facilities on campus. Including official representatives of the Student Government Association (SGA), Residence Hall Association (RHA), Office of Campus Life (OCL), and Residence and Greek Life (RGL), Illinois Tech’s Food Advisory Board (FAB) has been responsible for many of the changes to dining in its lifetime. The introduction of the popular meal exchange program, expansion of vegetarian and vegan options, and establishment of an ice cream bar in the Commons have all stemmed from conversations in Food Advisory Board, and it continues to be one of the most direct ways for students to offer regular input to Dining Services.

Last year, FAB was primarily headed by Ricky Stevenson, who stepped down from those duties after obtaining an time-consuming internship opportunity. The group was briefly taken over by Jay Morris, the SGA senator representing RHA, in an attempt to bring the group under the purview of both organizations, but stagnated for a month or so following Morris’s death in spring. At the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, the group was headed by John Munoz, a member of SGA’s Student Life Committee.

Since then, FAB has been largely stagnant as SGA and RHA worked to determine which of the two organizations had the power to re-form it. Various university administrators had spoken about committing to contradictory doctrines of responsibility for the group, and with John Munoz leaving his position as a senator, it wasn’t clear when FAB would begin to meet once again. Finally, though, it has been conjured into existence once again under SGA, and led by Munoz just as at the end of the last semester. Its first meeting in scheduled for Friday, October 28 at 4 p.m. in the Pritzker Club.

While SGA, RHA, OCL, and RGL maintain official membership in FAB, all students are technically welcome at the group’s meetings. Last year, a few active student leaders made regular appearances, most consistent among them being Adrian Dueñas, Jr., who was a volunteer in two of SGA’s committees at the time. Those participants have an equal seat at the table of discussion, and their concerns and input help form policies, options, and programs enacted by Illinois Tech Dining Services.