Last week, the University began the search for GW’s next provost. The new employee will step into a position that reorganizes the University’s administrative structure. Such shake-ups don’t always result in tremendous changes for student life, but now is a good time to consider a logical change that could result in a substantive improvement in dining. Dining services should now be put under the purview of Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak.
Currently, dining services is under the authority of Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz. We see little logic to this administrative structure, as dining is primarily a concern of student life, while Katz’s role focuses more on the financial well-being of GW. Katz has done an excellent job keeping GW relatively strong throughout the recession. Yet, despite a loud chorus, the complaints over dining continue to fall on deaf ears, with little substantive change being made over the past few years.
Dining services would be better administered by a person focused on student life. Chernak has proven to be an effective and, most importantly, receptive leader on such issues. Of course, GW should not necessarily wait for the new provost to be hired to make the switch. The change is long overdue, considering the perennial concerns over student dining. An administrator who is focused on student life will be better equipped to resolve those issues.
Some argue that students will never stop complaining about dining, and pushing for dining reform will never produce results. This apathetic argument is a result of years of effectively ignored dissent. In place of looking for solutions, people have begun to make excuses. Dining reform is possible. Placing it under the authority of an administrator concerned primarily with student life will likely lead to a tangible change in our dining options.
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