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This Week in Senate: New dining director pledges to “make whatever isn’t good, better”

The Undergraduate Student Association welcomed Chartwells’s new Director of Dining Services Janet Ellis to address its weekly Senate meeting. Ellis, who began her position this past July, introduced herself as an experienced, student-first director. She touted her resume, saying that “my staff [at Medaille University] was winning all kinds of awards from the student government, so I understand the college environment and the needs of students.”

Ellis also explained the reason for Chartwells’s decision to bring her on staff. Chartwells’s leadership “felt it was time for a change here and that I would be a good fit. I am very interested in hearing from the students on how we can do better.”

Acknowledging Canisius’s decision to open bids for a new dining services contractor, Ellis said “that’s something that we see a lot in our industry, in over 23 years in doing this, it happens.” This year, Ellis said, “the participation rate for the dining hall is so much higher than it’s ever been.” She promised to “make whatever isn’t good, better.”

Ellis answered questions about halal options and Chartwells’s sustainability initiatives. She said that halal options can be requested by students and sourced by Chartwells from stores such as Wegmans, and for sustainability, she pointed to the post-dishwasher-explosion use of compostable plates. USA sources tell The Griffin that last year’s Senate would have grilled Ellis with more questions about food quality. Senator Gabby Kaderli, a frequent questioner of guest speakers, was coincidentally absent.

Avoiding much controversy, Ellis left goodie bags with homemade cookies and her business card to emphasize her commitment to feedback and communication. The Griffin can confirm the cookies tasted good.

Fruit flies have been a pest in clubrooms for the past few weeks, but USA Advisor Jason Francey was only able to report that the facilities department started treating for the flies last Tuesday. “We can only really prevent more. The existing ones just have to die out.”

The USA Executive Board did not have much to reveal beyond President Jahare Hudson’s work on a potential plan to have NFTA recognize Canisius student IDs as a bus pass. Student Programming Board Chair Emmalee Sekuterski announced that Griffmas will be on Dec. 2. At the request of President Steve Stoute, a real Christmas tree will be placed in front of Palisano Pavilion. Sustainability Chair Genevieve Fontana updated the Senate on her committee’s can/bottle collection campaign; the Village Townhouses are currently in the lead with 441. The winning residence hall, entitled to 100 Petey Points per resident, will be announced next week.

After skipping next week due to Thanksgiving break, the final Senate meetings of the semester will be Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Tuesday, Dec. 6. The latter meeting will witness a Secret Santa gift swap between members. In its mission to keep the student government transparent, The Griffin is sending this scribe to participate in the exchange.

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