In previous months the world has witnessed the rise of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Our country and its people have been faced with constant change. We are in a time ridden with panic and fear, and because of this it can be difficult to make clear and careful decisions, but that is exactly what the Dinning Commons of MVNU has done.
To the average MVNU student, what happens at the Dinning Commons (also known as “The Caf”) would seem like magic, simply because they don’t see what happens behind the scenes. “We work in food service, so change is part of what we do, but for the most part we just have to have open discussions on a daily basis to keep up with what needs to be done,” said Rob Stiltner, Food Service Director. Before the university sent students home for remote classes, the Caf underwent major changes almost daily. From excluding self-serve items to closing the dining area to transitioning to carry-out altogether, some major decisions had to be made. “We implemented the first and biggest change of us serving people within a day. The last change of to go boxes took us a few hours.” Despite the constant unpredictability, the Caf team rapidly implemented new changes in order to keep students safe.
No one person is responsible for the efficiency of each transition. Stiltner explained, “My team has been the reason this has been as smooth as it has. They make me look good. They are the backbone to this operation and are true professionals.” However, even with rational decision-making and quick problem solving, some things still go wrong. “I have had to lay off 95% of my staff, which is one of the worst parts about this. I hope they can get set up on unemployment but most of them are having trouble getting through to someone since there are a lot of people in the same situation.”
Even now, the Dining Commons remains open for the 29 students who still live on campus. It is clear that in every situation the students are put first and the Caf plans to remain an available resource for students for the rest of the semester.
Caption: The Pioneer College Caterers team at MVNU are still working hard to serve students through the coronavirus crisis.