New changes make happier students, staff
Coming back to campus this fall, new and old students alike could relish in the changes brought by new food and housekeeping providers. Healthier food, cleaner dorms and even a Starbucks are some of the features of Wittenberg’s latest updates.
“We had heard growing concerns about the quality, availability and options of food [as well as] concerns regarding the quality of [housekeeping] services being provided,” Brandee Bates, director of Scheduling and Events, said.
Over the spring semester, an evaluation committee consisting of faculty, staff and students was formed to review potential food and housekeeping service providers. It had been over a decade since reviewing options were held for a new food service provider. Both food service and housekeeping potentials went through an RFP process, and Parkhurst and Alpha & Omega were selected as the new food and housekeeping providers, respectively.
“The preferred food services provider, based on fresh food options, philosophy and potential true partnership, was overwhelmingly Parkhurst,” Bates stated. “The students that participated on the evaluation committee were unanimous in this decision.”
The new partnership with Parkhurst features food made from scratch, options for students with allergies or gluten free diets and options for those with vegan or vegetarian preferences. Post 95, as well as featuring the new Starbucks, boasts an updated Grille stand with made-from-scratch options, a sub sandwich stand and a salad stand. All food at these stands are prepared right in front of the buyer.
Along with concerns raised by students and faculty, Wittenberg’s contract with the previous housekeeping provider, WFF, was set to expire at the end of last spring. After replacing WFF, Alpha & Omega went straight to work, making a noticeable difference in the care of dorms and buildings on campus. They even have plans to deep-clean the dorms over winter break.
Staff from both dining services and housekeeping had the option to be rehired by the new companies.
“In both instances, employees were either brought in at their existing level and compensation, while others received an increase in compensation,” Bates said.
Overall, Bates shared that the vast majority of feedback has been positive regarding these changes. The dorms and buildings are already noticeably cleaner, students have been much happier with the food and some upper-classmen have even added meal plans.
“I am very pleased with the services that are being provided, and the responsiveness to requests and suggestions,” Bates said. “I’m really excited for the students and our entire campus.”
Wittenberg doesn’t have plans for any other changes, but students are rather happy with the better and healthier changes.
“I’m really enjoying the new dining services,” Samantha Martens, ‘19, shared. “You can tell the food is real and fresh. And the housekeeping is doing a great job, too.”