We have read your letter regarding the Dining Services budget issues and appreciate your interest and concern for our dining program. Clearly, the program is very important to student life at the College. We have always been impressed with the work students perform in the dining halls and know that we would not have such a high-quality program without our student employees. We can assure you that an excellent dining service remains a high priority of the College. It is unfortunate that the cost of food has been increasing at a much higher rate than general inflation, approximately 5% annually, and we are just not able to increase the food budget at that rate. Total College revenue has been constrained by the world-wide financial crisis that began in 2008 and by the slowly recovering economy since then. Thus it has been difficult for the College to respond to rising food costs, and to other costs that have been increasing at rates significantly higher than inflation, without budget adjustments.
The College has been soliciting input from students to help us determine the reductions in food items and events that will have the least effect on the overall dining experience. Here is what we have done, are doing, and will do:
- We have now held two meetings to which all students have been invited so that we can hear from students about the potential budget cuts. A third meeting is currently being scheduled. We hope that all interested students who could not attend either of the first two meetings will attend the third.
- A student survey has been distributed to solicit feedback from all students. If you have not already done so please complete the survey at https://brynmawr.wufoo.com/forms/dining-at-bryn-mawr-whats-important-to-you/.
- Bernie Chung-Templeton, Director of Bi-College Dining, and Jerry Berenson, Chief Administrative Officer, will be at the SGA meeting on Sunday evening, February 10, to discuss Dining Services. They will answer any questions students have about the changes to dining programs that are being considered and will listen to suggestions students have for dealing with the budget situation.
- At the end of the Fall semester, Dining Services administrative staff met with the student supervisors to solicit their thoughts about potential budget reductions. Since student supervisors understand both the preferences of students and the details of the dining operation, they have been a valuable source of knowledge and opinion about dining programs.
We will consider all of the information that we gather from the student supervisors, the three scheduled meetings, the SGA meeting and the online survey to determine the changes that must be made and will inform you of these as soon as they are made.
We need your help to make these decisions and we appreciate your understanding as we do so.
Jane McAuliffe, President
Jerry Berenson, Chief Administrative Officer
Bernie Chung-Templeton, Director of Bi-College Dining Services