On-campus dining has been frustrating for students at times, but the situation is far more complicated than most would guess.
Aramark, the company that handles campus dining at IUP, was made aware of some concerns that the student body had expressed.
These concerns ranged from Grubhub functionality to meal swipe issues, but Aramark has provided some of the answers that students are looking for.
“We are aware of the Grubhub issue,” Tara Villa, the general manager for Aramark, said.
“Our IT manager is in the process of fixing it.”
Regarding Grubhub, the system only shows students as having one meal swipe per meal. Grubhub also does not save the changes that are being made that would have fixed the issue altogether. This becomes a problem because students are not able to check their meal swipe balance regularly.
Jennifer Braughler, the senior marketing manager for Aramark, has a solution for students.
Students can go to www.iup.campusdish.com to check their Flex and meal swipe balances. This will display them accurately and will be the alternative to Grubhub until the glitch in the system is resolved.
Another issue that students have is that North Dining Hall tends to get very full, namely due to the newly established Common Hour. While the Common Hour may be good for students to have a break during the day, it results in a flood of students going to eat at the same time.
According to Villa, this problem will eventually be resolved. At the start of a semester, students are still trying to figure out how to best balance their schedules.
Villa said that, in her experience, students tend to figure out the best and most convenient times for them to eat after the first weeks conclude, which will result in fewer people being at North at the same time.
If North Dining Hall is not your favorite place to eat, students should be reminded that the Crimson Café also has a lot of good options as well as a meal swipe equivalency option to allow students to purchase food there with a meal swipe rather than using Flex.
It is important to note that, despite whatever problems students may encounter, it is not the fault of the staff. As a result of COVID-19, Aramark is understaffed.
“We have a great staff,” Braughler said. “They are putting in their best.”
Villa would also like students to know that Aramark is there for the students. Aramark frequently sends representatives to Residence Hall Association (RHA) meetings to get student feedback. Getting feedback from customers is important in every business venture, so if students have any suggestions, reaching out to the RHA board would be a good way to suggest ideas.
With campus dining establishments being open again after closing during the pandemic, some problems were bound to happen as everyone got readjusted to campus life. With that in mind, the staff at Aramark have done their best to effectively address and resolve the situations that have come up.
So, students, go and enjoy the IUP dining experience. With a hardworking staff and managers that love feedback, students can be assured that high-quality food will be the centerpiece of their campus dining experiences.