J Street considers changes for next year

Student input and new Aramark management officials helped generate proposals to change venues and offerings at J Street, including plans to remove Taco Bell and Freshens, extend hours and add kosher, vegan and vegetarian options, dining officials said.

“We are thinking of putting in a name-brand ice cream place in the ground floor of the Marvin Center and changing Taco Bell to a non-fast food Tex-Mex counter,” said Jared Degnan, head of the Student Association’s Dining Services Commission.

An Aramark district manager added this year and the DSC work to evaluate GW food services. Degnan said the added effort has paid off.

“We have become a lot more effective,” Degnan said. “The administration has become a lot more receptive and things are better for the students.”

Degnan said communication between students and Dining Services, along with employee morale and customer service at J Street have improved from last year.

Students can send comments about GW food services to eat@gwu.edu. Degnan said the e-mails help them evaluate service and concentrate on areas to improve.

Degnan said DSC worked to change the kosher-food provider in
Provisions Market because the old provider sometimes shipped spoiled or damaged products to campus.

Senior Food Services Director Victor Younger said Provisions Market now gets its bread from Pepperidge Farms to offer better quality food to students.

Other initiatives spearheaded by the DSC include late-night breakfast of eggs, toast and coffee, served at the Hippodrome from midnight until 2 a.m. on the weekends. GW added the breakfast option earlier this month, but students have complained about slow service. Degnan said he hopes to add a cold option such as bagels to the menu.

J Street server Monique Headspet said the changes at J Street make working more pleasant.

“We have a lot more people this semester and we hardly run out of food, which was common last semester,” she said.

Headspet said new managers have also improved J Street working conditions.

“Our new managers actually do work, the old ones didn’t,” she said.

Sophomore Marsia Laureni said she has noticed improvements to the
service at J Street.

“Service is better than it was at the beginning of last semester. People are friendlier and the service is faster,” she said.

Despite the changes, some students said J Street service is still not acceptable. Sophomore Vincent DeRosa said he enjoys the food options at J Street, but service continues to be a problem.

“I’ve noticed service is considerably improved when men in big, white Aramark hats are walking around,” he said. “All other times the workers barely pay any attention to me.”

Headspet said she understands student complaints, adding that students unjustly blame the employees for the problems at J Street.

“They have a right to complain, but at the same time it’s not our fault and it’s not the managers’ fault,” she said. “We are all working hard and doing our best.”

-Becky Guyon contributed to this report.

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