Email below on Dining Services reprinted in full from a campus mailing. Thanks to ’10 for providing the email and for Steve Klass for letting us publish it here:


from: Stephen Klass
to: WILLIAMS-STUDENTS
date: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 3:00 PM
subject: Message from Steve Klass and Karen Merrill Regarding Dining Services

To the Williams Community,

As an early step in the College’s reorganization process, some creative thinking about our student dining operations has resulted in a plan that both reflects the way that students use – and would like to use – the system and decreases costs.

Master planners like to say that it’s most effective to lay sidewalks after you’ve seen where the grass gets worn down, and we now have meal-count data and student input on more than three years of Paresky Center and Neighborhood System co-existence.

The new plan involves opening our most popular venue, Whitmans’, seven days (20 meals) per week plus late night. Late-night operations that currently reside in the Lee Snack Bar will move to Whitmans’. Dinner will be offered each evening until 8 p.m. there and at Driscoll and Mission. At the same time we’re working with College Council to make the ’82 Grill more comfortable and visually appealing and to offer an expanded menu and hours of operation. Details of these and additional new arrangements are listed at the end of this message.

The changes will go into effect at the beginning of the fall, when the dining operations in Dodd and Greylock will be taken out of service.

All current Dining staff in Dodd and Greylock will be reassigned based on new operational needs. We recognize that these changes may be disruptive to some of our colleagues in Dining and express our gratitude to everyone involved in making these changes possible.

We’ll host an open forum at which students can ask us questions about these changes this Thursday at the Baxter Great Hall in Paresky at 7 p.m.

Dodd and Greylock were chosen because of usage patterns and the amount of savings that closing them represents. Continuing to maintain our current overcapacity of dining space would be expensive. These moves will result in net savings each year of $880,000. Some of this will be invested in expanding operations at other dining venues, and the balance will help protect the College’s academic priorities. We’ll also be reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by around 700 tonnes per year.

The private dining rooms in Greylock and Dodd will be replicated in Driscoll and Mission, and the kosher and halal offerings in Greylock will move to Mission.

The plan continues a long-term trend at Williams from broadly dispersed to more centralized dining, which students in a way have been voting for with their feet, given the heavy use of the venues in Paresky, especially Whitmans’.

It’s long been known that Williams has more dining hall capacity per unit of students than do similar colleges. This arrangement is a remnant of the old residential house system, which linked a dining hall with almost each house and then later with small groups of houses. But we’ve not had a “strong house” system for many years, and in the recent Neighborhood review process students made clear that they don’t generally link their nearest dining hall with Neighborhood life. Instead they choose where to eat based on their class schedules, the home base for their academic interests, their co-curricular pursuits, and their favorite menu selections.

Discussion about the cost of our dispersed system began in the spring of 2009 with the Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Committee and continued this year with the Committee on Priorities and Resources.

Further planning focuses on how best to handle the peak demand that occurs weekdays from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Driscoll and Mission Park Dining Halls will expand hours of operation, menu offerings will continue to be enhanced at all dining venues, and we may increase the number of Grab-and-Go stations across campus.

Dodd Dining Hall will probably be converted into student rooms, adding to the number of available beds in that popular residence hall. In the Greylock Dining Hall building, the classrooms and Makepeace Room will remain open. Thinking continues on how best to use the rest of the spaces there.

We hope this move represents a pattern for the broader administrative reorganization process now underway. The dining discussion was prompted by the need to control College costs but led to a result that increases the hours and offerings students most value, that’s more efficient, and that reduces costs. Please continue to share your ideas about the dining program with the Food Committee, with our great Dining staff, with College Council, and through comment cards.

Deep thanks go again to all who play a role in this implementation.

Best,
Karen Merrill, Dean of the College
and
Steve Klass, Vice President for Operations.

Details of New Student Dining Operations to Begin Fall 2010

WHITMANS’ DINING

Mon. – Sat.
Full breakfast 7:30 – 10 a.m.
Lite lunch 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Full lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner 5 – 8 p.m.

Sun.
Brunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner 5 – 8 p.m.

WHITMAN’S LATE NIGHT

Seven days 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

’82 GRILL

Lunch Mon. – Fri. 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner Sun. – Thur. 5 – 8 p.m.
Late night Seven days 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

LEE SNACK BAR

Mon. – Fri.

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (cash, credit card, Eph points)

DRISCOLL AND MISSION

Mon. – Sat.
Full breakfast 7:30 – 10 a.m.
Lite lunch 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Full lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner 5 – 8 p.m.

Sun.
Continental breakfast 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Brunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner 5 – 8 p.m.

GRAB AND GO

Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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