Chartwells to SGA: Long lines in LC will not be solved immediately


Photo credit/ Rachel Looker

Chartwells’ Senior Director of Dining Services Jon Barzensky answered questions at last Tuesday’s Student Government Association (SGA).

Rachel Looker and Rachael Eyler

The long lines at the Learning Commons cafe are a problem with no immediate solution, said Chartwells’ Senior Director of Dining Services Jon Barzensky at last Tuesday’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting.

Barzensky attended the SGA meeting to listen to students’ suggestions about potential resolutions to the long wait times at the cafe.

“We are here for the university, we are open to any suggestions you have…we need to find solutions, [but] we can’t find them all today,” said Barzensky.

According to Barzensky, the Learning Commons was never designed to handle the amount of customers who purchase food at the cafe on a daily basis. The cafe has around $30,000 in sales per week.

Barzensky said he understands students have a limited time frame and need to be able to grab food quickly.

“I have lots of emails. I have lots of Facebook posts,” said Barzensky in regard to comments about the long wait lines at the cafe.

According to Barzensky, “extreme staffing issues” are partially to blame.

He said Dining Services is trying to hire more people and added he will hire “anybody at this point” to work at Chartwells.

Barzensky acknowledged that closing First Stop likely contributed to the problem at the Learning Commons, but said the closure was a logical choice because of some infrastructure issues.

Barzensky explained why First Stop closed this semester, which may have led to the increased wait times in the Learning Commons. He said the closing was not only due to budget issues, but also because of “interior problems.”

Those issues include only having one sink to clean and prepare food, as well as having limited access to hot water.

He said First Stop was designed to have $20,000 in sales per month, and when it closed, it had around $10,000 sales per week.

Barzensky encouraged students to report problems with food quality or long lines immediately after they happen.

“I think active criticism is the best thing,” said Barzensky.

In an interview after the meeting, Barzensky said he is happy to listen to students’ concerns and hopes that meeting with students will result in positive feedback.

He added that he is willing to attend future SGA meetings.

“If we need to have Jon [Barzensky] back, then that is something we can do,” SGA President Maria Temples said.

Temples also encouraged students to email SGA if they have any more questions or concerns for Barzensky.

SGA Food Services Representative Sarah Liang said she was happy that Barzensky talked to SGA.

“It was nice to get a straightforward explanation and get some feedback from students to understand how we can make food services better,” said Liang.

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