By Alyson Hatfield
AT YORK College, dining services have been run by an outside company called Chartwells for approximately 10 years. Chartwells is used at around 300 different schools around the country.
At YCP, Chartwells oversees the Main and West Campus Dining Hall, Sparts Den, Appel Cafe, and the campus Starbucks. Chartwells also oversees all catering that takes place on campus.
If any club or organization wants to hold an event that involves food, they have to go through Chartwells catering services. Chartwells tends to be very expensive if you want an event fully catered, and for smaller clubs it might be hard for them to afford that. Rather than being able to just go nearby and pick up pizza for $20, the school requires that students go through Chartwells.
Even for the Campus Activities Board and the Student Senate, using Chartwells takes up a large portion of the semester budget. To feed 100 people mac and cheese it can cost up to $1,000.
Clubs are also expected to pay two days before the event for the catering. So if clubs want to have an event catered they have to predict the amount of people in attendance and pay for that amount, even if not everyone shows up.
But for smaller clubs and organizations they are not given a big enough budget to afford to have Chartwells cater an event. Chartwells catering prices range from:
- $11.99 per person for breakfast
- $13.99 per person for a sandwich buffet
- $19.99 per person for a dinner buffet which includes entree, salad vegetables, dinner rolls, drinks, and cookies
According to Chartwells Catering website, they state that “Certain events require contracted labor. This additional cost will be discussed during the planning of your event.” Addition fees can include:
- “Tablecloth – $7 each table
- Table Skirt – $19 to $25 each, depending on size
- Linen Napki – 50 cents each
- Contracted Labor – $21.95 servers/hour (minimum of 4 hours)”
Many students are frustrated with having to use Chartwells to cater their events, from the price to the quality of the food that is provided.
And if there is food left, the state’s health codes prohibit it to be “packaged up after an event and taken off campus,” according to the company.
While Chartwells tries its best to accommodate all student’s catering needs and the staff works really hard to ensure their best for all students, the price of the catering is too expensive for many clubs.
They should be given the opportunity to use outside caterers to provide for their events.
Here at York, administrators set up the terms of Chartwells contract and we even have a designated committee that oversees dining on campus. According to the Dean of Student Development and Campus Life, Richard Satterlee, “This committee meets once per month and provides feedback to dining services about everything from menus to hours of operation.”
This committee has members of the administration, students, and staff., he added. Yet, these stipulations remain.
With the president leaving at the end of the semester it remains to be seen if Chartwells will be leaving with her.
But if the school decides to bring in a new company, administrators should also consider the price of catering in addition to writing a contract that does not force all clubs and organizations to use their catering services while hosting a campus event.
Alyson Hatfield is a senior Political Science major with a minor in public relations.
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