Challenging Chartwells

Student gathers complaints against dining service

By on February 25, 2016

Carleigh Peterson, a sophomore marketing major, arrived at Cafe Q on Feb. 1 and bought a muffin, which she later found was raw.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.26.17 PMKristen Riello

This was not the only instance in which Peterson had an issue with Chartwells. In late January, Peterson was overcharged when purchasing two individual uncooked eggs.

Peterson, according to a Facebook post she wrote the night of the incident, decided “this sort of thing goes on far too often here” and submitted a negative response about Chartwells Dining at Quinnipiac as a whole.

After setting up a meeting with the directors of food services for the following Thursday, Peterson went to Facebook to ask the Quinnipiac population for evidence of raw or otherwise inedible food. By the time of Peterson’s planned meeting, she had compiled a document more than 20 pages long, filled with pictures and student testimonials, only for her meeting to be canceled.

“I was very upset. They added $20 to my account to make up for the muffin and the eggs which was great,” Peterson said. “But originally it seemed like that was supposed to be in place of the meeting. And I basically sent back that I would still like to meet, but thank you for the credit to my account.”

According to Peterson, the meeting was rescheduled to the following Thursday. It was then that Director of Dining Services Joseph Tobin and Associate Director of Dining Services Leean Spalding made it clear that student complaints need to be immediately addressed by a manager or sent via email to Chartwells directly.

Student discontent with Chartwells food is not unheard of across campus. Many students become discontent with the lack of food variety and some, such as senior political science major Maria Praeli, change their diet altogether. Praeli used to be a vegetarian, but had to stop during her freshman year.

“I started eating chicken my second semester here because there just wasn’t enough options,” she said. “Salads got boring and there’s just not enough options for dietary needs.”

Although variety is a major concern for some students, for Peterson there is a more pressing matter at hand.

“Right now I’m mostly focused on the safety of the food and the reliability of the food,” Peterson said. “We shouldn’t be served raw or rotten or cross-contaminated food… My biggest concern is that we should be able to fill a plate with food and eat it without having to inspect if everything’s okay.”

The Student Government Association student advocacy committee continuously works with Spalding weekly. In addition, sophomore class representative Travis Dunham works with Chartwells every week, which is why there are constant changes and improvements.

Still, students are making it clear on some social media platforms that they’re unhappy with the food quality. The directors of Chartwells are aware of the social media ridicule Chartwells is receiving, specifically under the twitter account “NastyChartwells.”

But the feedback from the account is unreliable because the different instances don’t include where and when the food was received, the directors said. In order for food services to track down and put a stop to the raw or contaminated food, they need certain information and the content of these tweets are not concrete.

Chereace Marcellin, a junior psychology major, agrees Chartwells needs more concrete evidence to deal with complaints of bad food.

“I think if you have a real issue with Chartwells that it shouldn’t just be taken to social media,” Marcellin said. “You should address it to someone like a manager or someone higher up so that it can be handled efficiently. Chartwells isn’t going to see every complaint, see everyone’s posts online.”

Tobin encourages students to reach out if they are unhappy with their dining experience.

“Chartwells is eager to ensure that all students are satisfied with campus dining services,” Tobin said in an email.

According to Tobin, students should contact Chartwells directly at Chartwells@quinnipiac.edu with all concerns or speak with a manager in one of the cafeterias.

Peterson encourages students to speak up about their food experiences at Chartwells.

“Basically the bottom line that needs to be voiced to everyone is that the second that anything happens you need to take initiative,” Peterson said. “You need to send in your complaint, you need to seek out a manager because nothing can be done unless you yourself are trying to get something done.”

Graphic designed by Kristen Riello

CORRECTION: This article originally included a photo from Twitter of a piece of raw chicken. This photo was not taken at Quinnipiac and has been removed from the article.

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About Thamar Bailey

Associate News Editor
Journalism Major and Spanish Minor