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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


The Kelly Dining Service Strikes Back

A number of Dining Center faculty sat down with the Statesman this week to explain the sanitation issues exposed in last week’s article, and other student complaints with the dining facilities on campus.

Immediately, Angela Agnello, Director of Marketing and Communications for the campus wide dining services, fired back at a Statesman editorial criticizing different aspects of the Kelly Dining Service. “One complaint was that the coffee cups were far too small at 8oz,” Agnello explained. “We’ve addressed that issue by offering students 16 oz. cups.”

Another complaint that confused us was the price of coffee being inconsistent, sometimes two dollars, sometimes less. It ended up being a simple matter of using cash or your meal plan to pay for coffee, because when using the meal card you aren’t charged sales tax, Agnello emphasized. Agnello and others quickly moved to address issues on sanitation.

Dennis Lestrange, Resident District Manager of Campus Dining Services emphasized that, “Food and safety are number one, and we don’t want to give people the impression otherwise.” Such an impression was given when last weeks article revealed that temperature and time sheets had not been done periodically in the Kelly Kitchen’s past.

Evan Kennedy, Operations Director of the Dining Service, “These incidents have been narrowed down to the nineteenth and twenty-fourth of February, and have by no means been an ongoing problem, we’ve addressed it,” said Evan Kennedy, Operations Director of Campus Dining Services. Other Dining Service staff members were equally disagreeable with accusations made concerning pest control.

“Part of the confusion was that the pest control people from Paramount Pest no longer come in on Saturday mornings as of this semester, but now come in Friday mornings,” explained Lisa Ospitale, Marketing Director at Dining Services. Lestrange emphasized that, “The Kelly Kitchen is always being treated on a weekly basis, all year-round, even when students are not eating on campus because it’s closed for intersession or the summer.”

In the weekly reports they receive from the pest control company, there had been no recent cockroach infestations, as previous anonymous employees had seen.

The fruit fly problem is being addressed in a non-toxic manner that may have difficulty succeeding in suddenly warmer weather, Lestrange explained. Ultimately, he and the other staff members had confidence that Paramount Pest will succeed in eradicating the problem.

The message presented by the four staff members ultimately asks students and employees to understand the pest control is an ongoing process. According to the staff, there are deliveries being made everyday and the pest-control company does their best to offer preventative measures, as opposed to an environment “such as your home, where you call the exterminator once you notice a problem,” explained Lestrange.

The other message the four looked to convey was that their offices were always open. Ospitale explained that any employee has the option to talk to their manager, their student manager, or directly to the directors.

At any dining spot on campus there are customer advocates that survey random patrons about food quality, and those surveys prove very useful, Lestrange explained. Ospitale emphasized that patrons have available to them comment cards to fill out at any dining spot, or the campus dining website. Students can email their comments by visiting Agnello stressed that, “Any feedback is good, and we read all of it.’

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