Trouble among Garvey Commons: SCSU students are not thrilled

Food, health, and wellness are all things that are required for a college student to have a successful year at school. The way St. Cloud State University tries to help out is by providing the students with meals on campus, made and produced by a company called, Chartwells. Although, it seems those who have bought a meal plan and eat at Garvey Commons are unsatisfied with what they paid for.

With money being so tight for most college students, it can be frustrating when they feel it’s been put to waste. Especially on something like basic meals and for a hefty cost. There’s also an expectation that is held for food services on campus, ensuring that students are getting their money’s worth. However, a lot of students say Chartwells is not meeting there standards.

The University Chronicle took a survey of approximately 125 students in order to gain feedback about their satisfaction on Garvey Commons’ meals.

The information above shows that 64.5 percent of these students have rated the food either a 1 or 2, which is either completely unsatisfied or unsatisfied.

This situation causes more students who live on campus to become frustrated. Especially for first-year students who are required to live on campus for their first academic year.

First-year student Olympia Her, shared her thoughts on what she thought was most inconvenient about Garvey Commons and its food quality.

“Especially with the food choices they offer us, I feel the nutrition, as well as the diversity of the food, is limited. Having living on campus, I become dependent on Garvey providing me meals,” she said. “I do not have the freedom to make my own meals because I have to fulfill the requirement of having a meal plan.”

While there are some strongly held opinions, not all of the results are negative. Out of the responses, 32.2 percent of the students were indifferent to what they’re being served.

Freshman Wilson Kass said he thinks Garvey Commons really isn’t that bad.

“Some of the foods here are decent enough. The waffle fries, chicken sandwiches, and wraps are pretty decent. I don’t mind having those as much,” Kass said.

However, Kass also mentions only junk foods seem to get positive ratings. Which some argue is distracting students from eating nutritional meals so they can perform better in classes.

Chartwells is aware of the backlash they are receiving from those attending the university and have meal plans through Garvey Commons, and are working towards making sure that people get what they pay for.

Resident District Manager Jeff Hilligoss wants to ensure students’ voices are being heard and being considered for future changes.

“I hope that [the students] see that we are listening to [them] and are willing to make change when we receive feedback,” Hilligoss said.

Events the company has presented to the student body are specials aimed at certain types of foods to attract those who would otherwise stray.

Crunch Lab, which occurs on October 19, is a make-your-own trail mix type of event that lets students combine dried fruits, cereals, nuts and other sweet treats to give those a little boost during their day.

There is also an upcoming Halloween event where there will be cookies, a photo booth, and trivia to add a little fun to the holiday.

As for nutrition, Chartwells is working hard to advocate the more nutritional options with their new program called “Balanced U.” On their website, the program shows featured superfoods being served that week and trying to incorporate them into the main courses for students to enjoy.

Overall, the negative feedback is given by students at SCSU regarding what is served at Garvey Commons is based upon limited options and not feeling as if the plan is worth their time or money.

If you would like to share your thoughts or feedback directly, you may go to their website.




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Bethanie Barrios

Bethanie is a junior at St. Cloud State and is a mathematics education major with minors in mass communications and special education. This year, she is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle, a director for in house productions at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and a math tutor. She enjoys writing, rock concerts, and serving her community and fellow students.

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