Faculty expresses concern over meal plan changes

Cydney Long

Starting this fall, Lakeside and Landrum will offer all-access dining, which has stirred up unsavory responses from many Georgia Southern University faculty members.

In previous years, faculty and staff could go into Lakeside and grab a single cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal a la carte. If they want to do this in the fall, they will have to pay at least $8.50 each time they enter one of the dining halls.

While determining the type of meal plan to establish, Eagle Dining Services only surveyed students and did not include faculty and staff.

Without surveying faculty or staff, Eagle Dining Services would not know if more staff would purchase food when they have to pay more for a cup of coffee, Clara Krug, a professor in the department of foreign languages, said.

“Given the number of faculty and staff, you would think there would be some accommodation,” Dr. Tim Whelan, professor in the department of literature and philosophy and CLASS faculty senate member, said

The faculty senate is supposed to be an advisory body, but it is hard to give advice without being asked, Dr. Janice Steirn, professor in the department of psychology and CLASS faculty senate member, said.

This is just an additional example of the administration doing things without even touching base with faculty or staff, Steirn said.

“We have a food system that is basically working like cable television. We can’t just take anything a la carte. We have to buy the eight thousand channels, and that is absolutely absurd,” Senate Secretary Dr. Mark Cyr, a professor in the department of literature and philosophy, said.

“I’ll drive off campus before I pay $8.50 for breakfast,” Whelan said.

“By denying us, or charging a ridiculous price, for being able to go in and get a reasonably healthy meal, they are treating us like we aren’t important,” Steirn said.

University President Brooks Keel said that the primary purpose of the two dining halls, Lakeside and Landrum, is to meet the needs of students.

If they want to serve the students of the dorm community, they should just put dining halls in the dorms, Steirn said.

“Students are here for four or five years, and they graduate and go away. We’re here for the long haul,” Steirn said.

The price change inconvenience was not the only issue that faculty had concerning the changes.

“As an FYE professor, we’re often asked to get together with our students so that students get to know at least one professor. A very easy thing to do was meet them at Lakeside, and now that option has been taken from us,” Steirn said.

Whelan said that the faculty and staff understand that there are other options such as the Union or the library, but Lakeside was in a central location.