@MiamiUDining Sits Down for an Interview

For the New Year we thought we’d try something new here ourselves at the Miami Spread and have one of the students at Miami have their work posted on our website as a guest blogger! Elizabeth Baldwin (@mylifeasliz95) interviewed the head of the Twitter account @MiamiUDining, Missy Davish, and asked question pertaining to the student body and dining changes here at Oxford! Down below is the full interview!

Miami Dining frequently reaches out to students with information and looking for feedback through their Twitter account (@MiamiUDining).  Students are encouraged to respond to tweets, ask questions, and provide feedback.

Missy Davish, Manager of Marketing for Housing, Dining, Recreation, and Business Services, manages the account.  According to Davish, the primary change that Armstrong made was at Mein Street, where the option to choose your own vegetables got condensed to three blends.  Students still have the choice of what goes into their stir-fry, but only from the three combinations.

Pulley Diner also condensed its menu by removing mozzarella sticks and chicken wings.  These changes were implemented due to the time and preparation each food requires.  The dining Twitter account received the most negative feedback regarding mozzarella sticks.  After an overload of student response, dining made the decision to add mozzarella sticks back to the menu.

“My first reaction was to ignore anything that I felt crossed the line,” Davish said regarding negative student feedback.  “Recently, I’ve really tried to put a positive spin on something and make sure that everyone gets an answer so that no one feels left out.”

This is not the first time that Miami Dining has experienced negative or disrespectful feedback via social media.

“Anytime we make a change, whether we are adding or subtracting, there is always a positive and there is always a negative,” Davish said.  “It is impossible to cater to every single student’s preferences.  We cater to their needs.”

Student feedback is always heard and considered by Miami Dining.

“Ill screenshot the response or I’ll make a bullet point list of the overall responses.  Whatever can best get it to senior dining staff or the leader of HDRB (Housing, Dining, Recreation, and Business Services),” said Davish.  “It gets pretty high in the food chain because it is passed on to all levels of dining.”

Allie Reisinger, a Miami sophomore, sent a tweet to dining supporting them for the way that they handle student feedback.

“I think its great how she makes it personal.  She gives a personal response to everyone who asks a question or has a complaint,” Allie said.  “She does it in a very controlled and cool manner.”

After sending her tweet, Reisinger received a response from Davish thanking her for the support and asking for her to email her thoughts on dining.

Although the changes to dining this year have been difficult for some students to accept, each decision is made based on the business that it requires to operate Miami Dining.  Earlier this year, many students showed disappointment with the lack of buffet options on campus.  With East Quad being closed for renovations, Erickson buffet is unavailable.  Harris Dining Hall spent several months of this semester without a breakfast buffet option.  However, after much student feedback, breakfast was added back to Harris.

 

While more major changes are not expected in the near future, change is never impossible.

“I hope that dining continues to listen to students no matter how they choose the express their opinions,” said Davish.

 

 Thank you once again to our guest student blogger Elizabeth Baldwin for a wonderful interview! We encourage all our students to reach out to us and submit some guest blogs of their own, you might even get the chance to see your work on the website! Enjoy the New Year and come #EatWithUs in 2015!

3 Comments

  1. John Patterson says:

    “Although the changes to dining this year have been difficult for some students to accept, each decision is made based on the business that it requires to operate Miami Dining.”

    Not difficult for just students to accept, but for other stakeholders as well. These would be Alumni, parents and others promoting Miami University as a top undergraduate college choice for decades.

    Besides the obvious budgetary concerns Ms. Davish mentions (“the business that it requires to operate Miami Dining (sic) ), what about healthy, economical choices for students?

    Somewhere “Smoothies” and Stir Fry became code words for healthy eating at MU Dining, while students, paying $10 for a hamburger at extremely nice looking venues are not getting the balanced meals a buffet would provide at an economical price. Instead, the myriad of options available at Armstrong and Maplestreet Station often resemble a (nicely appointed) mall food court with plenty of expensive fast food choices that are high in carbs and low in protein.

    I was a student once. I would have told you then (and many of today’s students would agree) that the food choices students make in dining are not always the right ones. That is why buffets, properly setup with popular, nutritious, balanced meals, served in a timely manner, at convenient locations and reasonable prices serve the greater good… a healthy student body. Putting them at the extreme edges of campus make them virtually unavailable or inconvenient to many thousands of students

    I have heard a rumor that it is just a matter of time before Harris and Martin dining halls are shut down. I certainly hope this is not the case. I would challenge the MU administration at all levels, that while the past 10 years have been extremely successful on many levels, let’s not give in to shortcuts, and the latest food craze du jour in order to boost profits at the expense of student health.

    People eat pizza because its tasty, fast and a good value. But pizza is not a healthy, long term dietary solution, nor are mozzarella sticks. Making truly comprehensive meal options _more_ available to students on campus, rather than less, would be the next great investment in the wonderful students that attend Miami University.

    Like

    • priya says:

      I agree with you. i like buffets because i can get a bit of several sides. however, the harris/martin buffets, besides the salads, generally only has one (maybe 2) veggie options. i am glad that western has a lot of options!
      miami- would love if harris had more veggies, such as roasted veggies.
      maybe best of both worlds- offer students the chance to get one thing to go from a buffet or one full bufft box togo.

      Like

  2. Thanks for the feedback, John! Your rumors are just that—there is no plan (or discussion) of closing Martin or Harris anytime soon. As of now, Western Dining Commons will be fully buffet for the future. There are also plans for the new dining center on East Quad to be buffet as well. Both of these decisions were based on feedback we have received over the past year. Although there are healthy options offered at each and every a la carte venue, I hope you find this buffet information reassuring.

    Like

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