Date: May 27, 2016
To: Kevin Ososkie, Director of Christopher Newport University Dining Services
From: Lauren Reed and Sarah Wright, CNU Students
Subject: Proposal for New On-Campus Dining Options
The purpose of this study is to determine CNU students’ satisfaction with current dining options and to expand CNU’s dining options with the introduction of healthier options
Dining is a multifaceted experience at CNU, with the social aspect of eating meals in the dining halls and the necessity of eating properly to maintain students’ health. With the results of this study we believe we can improve both of these aspects of dining at CNU. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to consider our proposal and we look forward to working with you further on getting this project started. If you have questions or comments, please contact Lauren Reed at email@example.com or Sarah Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Study on Students’ Interest in Campus Dining Options”
In May 2016, we conducted a study on whether or not students at Christopher Newport University were satisfied with the available options for dining on campus. Schools like Virginia Tech and James Madison University often win the title of “best food” with their variety of options and healthier food and for CNU to be a completely competitive college it needs to excel in all areas, not simply academics or on-campus involvement.
Based on the findings and positive remarks from the survey we recommend that Christopher Newport University consider the addition of healthier options, a later closing time, more food variety, and more dining dollar options. In providing these changes, students will have a better dining experience on campus and be healthier, providing for a more positive
Keywords: dining, late hours, variety, healthy, dining dollars
Christopher Newport University, as a highly respected school, is known for listening and engaging with its population of students and making them and their concerns a priority.
The most strongly desired change within on campus dining is a wider variety of food options. would provide students with more choices. In addition, the dining hall would be open later, allowing for more time to eat within each student’s busy schedule. Based off the findings of this study the majority of students would be interested in having longer availability during meals.
This qualitative research study was conducted using an ethnographic approach. An ethnographic study generally contains more than 20 individuals and looks at shared patterns within a cultural group. This approach was used since the study looked at shared late night/early morning eating habits and at shared feelings towards CNU late night/early morning dining options. The study targeted current CNU students as the cultural group. Also, the study contained 22 individuals that answered an online survey. A realist ethnography helped the researcher avoid personal bias and helped the researcher objectively report the survey results.
- A 3-question online survey was created and dispersed to CNU students, 49 of which responded. The researchers used an ethnographic approach in the qualitative research study and created the survey using Google Forms. To view the survey questions, please consult the Appendix.
- After collecting the survey results, the researcher consulted online articles that discussed the 24-hour dining policies at other universities.
- Survey Results: In this section the data will address CNU student inputs on the established dining options. The data that follows reflects the online survey described in the Methods section.
- When conducting research through the survey current CNU students. Out of the 54 surveyed participants, when asked about their desire for change in the dining options, 52 (96%) said yes. This data proves that there is a strong desire for change on CNU’s campus.
- However, with the 52 positive responses, students were interested in a variety of potential improvements.
- The second question of the survey asked students what they specifically were interested in with an on-campus dining renovation. To get an idea of what students think should be introduced or changed, see graph below:
- The third and final question of the survey asked why students who said they were content with CNU’s current dining options, were uninterested in change.
Based on the research that has been collected and examined the results in fact show that CNU students would want some sort of 24/7 dining hall, featuring healthier food alongside name brand restaurants like Chipotle and Panda Express.
- Article Research:
The first article consulted was a review of Lynn University’s change to later dining hours on its campus. Allie Grasgreen noted that, “administrators worried that students weren’t eating when they needed to. Athletes, working students and international students, many of whom tend to eat later, would regularly miss meals when the kitchen was only open for a few three-hour periods throughout the day.” The university decided to keep 7 of their 10 food locations open during the late-night hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., wherein the administration saw an upward of one-third of all students who have a meal plan taking advantage of the later hours. Grasgreen interviewed Rachel A. Warner, director of communications and marketing for the National Association of College and University Food Services about the idea on a larger scale, and what other universities were doing to make a change. Warner said that colleges are “meeting the students where the students are” with additions like late night dining.
The second article was a study that C. Childers conducted on her peers eating habits in the dining hall. She studied the influence that dining hall hours have on students’ overall health. The study requested participants to journal their normal eating habits for a semester. Prior to the start of the following semester, students were given basic health facts, which heavily increased students’ health consciousness during the next semester. For our research purposes, we are reviewing the first semester studies and found the significant weight of students’ time constraints and its affects on their health. The study found that some students were so busy they forgot to eat. One student said, “I am one of the busiest people ever. I have a lot of organizations and a lot of hard classes… But eating is not my priority nor is sleeping. I’m sure that’s not good but that’s how it has to be, for now anyways. I’ll sleep and eat during the summer” (Childers). Another student in the study noted, “With the purchase of meal plans, students are given specific time frames of food availability for locations throughout campus” (Childers).
Childers, C. C., Haley, E. and Jahns, L. (2011), Insights into University Freshman Weight Issues and How They Make Decisions About Eating. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 45: 306– 328. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.2011.01204.x
Grasgreen, Allie. “More Dining, Less Dozing (in Class).” Inside Higher Ed. Inside Higher Ed, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 May 2016.
Reed, Lauren and Sarah Wright. “CNU 24-hour Dining Options”. May 20, 2016.
Appendix Table of Contents
Survey Questions…………………………………………………………………………… A
Infographic ………………………………………………………………………………… B
- Would you be interested in more food options on campus?
- If you answered yes to the first question, what food options would you like to see on campus?
Actual Student Responses Follow:
- “ They need to be open for longer hours… If they are going to make us pay so much for our meal plans then they need to give us a better time options.”
- If you answered no to the first question, why not?
Actual Student Responses Follow:
- “I think we have a fine selection of food on campus.”
- “Any additional options would be for small minorities of people and [CNU] would replace typical food options.”