Who caters to Quinnipiac?

QU Dining gets ‘first dibs’ for on-campus events

By on February 13, 2019

Christina Popik | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Quinnipiac Dining and the university have an agreement that states that QU Dining has the first right of refusal for all catered events on all three campuses. For some students, this agreement may be the reason that they aren’t attending food-related events.

“This does not mean that student groups would not receive approval to go off campus if Quinnipiac Dining cannot for any reason accommodate the request,” Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan said. “It simply means that Quinnipiac Dining gets the first call.”

The Quinnipiac Chronicle conducted an informal poll with the question: “Would knowing that QU Dining catered an event on-campus affect your decision to attend?”

Out of 62 votes, 41 people said yes, it would affect their decision and 22 people voted no, that it wouldn’t affect their decision.

In the next poll, students were asked, “If you said yes, would you be more or less likely to attend?” Out of 74 votes, 25 people said they were more likely to attend, and 49 people said that they would be less likely to attend an event that was catered by QU Dining and not have outside food.

“The primary reason for this agreement is food safety. When student groups purchase food from outside vendors, there is no guarantee that the food will arrive safely and prepared for consumption,” Morgan stated.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 48 million people get sick; 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne illness,” according to The University of Connecticut’s study on food safety.

“If students were to become ill from the food provided by an outside vendor, the university would have no recourse,” Morgan stated.

However, when Quinnipiac provides food that is not QU Dining all precautions must be taken.

“For example, when food trucks are at the university, the operator must provide copies of insurance certificates, health permits and complete an application,” Morgan said.

One of the student groups most affected by this rule is the Student Programming Board (SPB).

“The Student Programming Board has always attempted to use QU Dining as a food vendor as much as we can,” Sean Dacey, senior and president of SPB, said.

The switch hasn’t affected SPB’s events too much, except the organization must be more aware of the type of food they want to provide at events when going through QU Dining, because off-campus vendors tend to have more variety.

“I think the outcome depends on the type of event. If it is a food-themed event, I think the outcome would be better if the food came from an off-campus food source,” Dacey said.

However, if it wasn’t a food-related event and it more entertainment based, food is not as important of a factor for a better outcome.

In order to get food from off-campus vendors, approval must be given from QU Dining, according to Dacey. Even if QU Dining can’t provide the food, SPB still has to reach out to them.

“We reach out to [QU Dining] to see if they would like to provide food for our events and if they cannot provide a certain type of food or stay within our budget, then we are able to use off-campus vendors,” Dacey said.

Sometimes for a specific food-related event SPB, can’t use QU Dining food.

“Sometimes we cannot [use QU Dining food] because they do not offer what we are looking for or what students want to see at our events such as various chicken nuggets from differing restaurants during our annual event, Nug Night,” Dacey said.

For some students, having an off-campus food source at an event would push them to go.

“If there is good food catered from a restaurant or any food that wasn’t from QU Dining I would be way more likely to attend that event,” freshman business major Mary DeNardo said.

Other students, including sophomore education major Samantha Williams, feel even stronger about QU Dining not being used as the main caterer for events.

“It would one hundred percent push me to go to an event if QU Dining was not catering,” Williams said. “QU Dining has a reputation that is bad, so no QU Dining at events would be good.”

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