Dining Services understaffed and struggling


Carina Lopez, Campus News Editor

The UW-W Dining Services finds themselves short-staffed with about 75 empty student positions and 15 empty full-time positions, leaving them in a struggling position to serve the student population. 

Resident District Manager for Aladdin Jim Winn and Executive Director of the University Center Angela Meldonian joined Monday’s Whitewater Student Government meeting where they discussed their ongoing issue and how they hope to solve them.

“This has been a very difficult year and a half with COVID, more specifically with fall opening,” said Winn.

Dining services struggled in finding and maintaining existing employees throughout the pandemic, just like other businesses around the country.

“We had three. One gave us a two-week notice today and two others have not shown up for three days. We’re pretty certain they’re not coming back,” said Winn.

Out of all the places to eat on campus, the University Center is running the best, Winn said. He also noted that although Drumlin is right behind the University Center, there are some issues with its operations. Being very transparent he let the student government know that on August 27 Drumlin’s general manager quit. 

“I interviewed this afternoon, a person I’ve interviewed two times before, and I’m going to extend an offer,” said Winn.

Some other empty positions around campus include four cooks, cashiers, supervisors, meat and cheese slicers and more.

The supply chain has also been a challenge as they cannot find a truck to transport some of the food to the campus. 

If the food does not get shipped in two to four days, only select locations will be able to serve them, Winn said.

“One story that I share with you of some of the behind the scenes work is early on Jim and I had to drive up to Baraboo to pick up a load of food to get here, so the dining staff is working extra hard behind the scenes to make sure that we have options here on campus,” said Meldonian.

In order to hire new people, dining services recently hired a new corporate recruiter. They will re-do the Indeed job postings and other sites of that matter. They were also able to increase student wages to appeal more to hirees, along with other initiatives. 

“We do have a stipend of $100 for new hires and $100 for referrals,” said Winn.

Students would get $9.20 an hour, after 5 p.m. and on the weekends they make $10.20 an hour.

For more information visit UW-W Dining Services.