New food options have been added this year in the Temporary Food Court in Davis, as well as in the Instructional Center.
Fusion 5, located in the TFC, is the first gluten-free certified dining place in all Canadian universities. Serving brown rice, veggies, chicken, salmon, and beef, it provides a healthier option to students, said UTM’s director of hospitality and retail services, Vicky Jezierski, in an interview with The Medium.
The TFC also contains a new salad bar that rotates different choices every day. Prices are $1.50 per 100 grams.
Bento Sushi has been installed in IB, and a grilling station has been added in Oscar Peterson Hall, which offers cook-to-order for grilled menu items.
Jezierski stated that there have been consultations with students, which began with a survey in 2011, right before TFC and IB were built. The Student Advisory Committee was also set up, open houses were held, as well as consultations with the Residence Student Council, the Graduates Council, and UTMSU. Focus groups also took place between staff and students to provide feedback to UTM.
The highest preference for students was Asian food, but because of the lack of enough ventilation in the TFC, bringing in Asian food was unsuccessful. Mexican food was among the highest preferences too, and according to Jezierski, the university was able to bring Quesada to TFC.
Andrea De Vito, assistant director of hospitality and retail services, told The Medium that the options at UTM are diverse compared to other universities. He stated that because of the current limited ventilation and the little space available in Davis, the university is unable to bring in all the food options that they want to add for students.
De Vito also stated that there will be a new food court by 2018. Depending on how much space the university gets in the new food court, they will decide what moves from the TFC to the new court.
He cited that no prices have increased in compared to last year.
UTM also applied last spring to Fair Trade Canada to become a designated Fair Trade campus.
Becoming a Fair Trade includes using less pesticides, paying wages to growers, and taking the profit to schools and hospitals. It includes less people profiting. Becoming a designated Fair Trade means that the products that the campus gets are officially “ethically-sourced”, as Jezierski said.
According to Jezierski and De Vito, becoming a designated Fair Trade will not have an effect on the prices.
UTM has been working on Fair Trade for a year and a half. Last year, it hosted a Fair Trade week where they tried to spread awareness to students and offered sampling of their Fair Trade products, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and bananas.
UTM plans on holding another Fair Trade Week this year from September 26 to 30. Both Jezierski and De Vito stressed that their goal is to increase student awareness of Fair Trade. Some of the activities planned for the week involve promotion of Fair Trade, sampling, spreading awareness, having a selfie contest with the Fair Trade products, and celebrating becoming designated.
“A huge growth and expansion have happened in the past four years,” Jezierski said. “Every building has either been expanded or changed […] We really hope that students appreciate it.” These buildings include IB, the North Building, and the residence.
The university is expecting to hear back from Fair Trade Canada shortly before Fair Trade Week.