Tom Lebert, Senior, Deputy Director of Dining and Food Insecurity for the American University Student Government
Over most of the past year, I’ve been working with campus organizations and administrators to improve American University’s dining program. While serving as Chief of Staff of the Residence Hall Association, our executive board noticed the outcry coming from students across campus in response to proposed meal plan price increases. We took this opportunity to set up a town hall with the director of AU Dining, where students raised their concerns about the price increases and general dining issues. Following the town hall, the plan to increase prices was overturned, and I joined the Dining Services Request for Proposal Committee, where a small group of students and campus administrators were to design a request for proposal (RFP) document, inviting new dining providers to apply to replace our existing provider. Over the next few months I worked with the Residence Hall Association to collect information from students through forums and surveys about what they would need from a new dining provider. Finally, over the summer, Chartwells was chosen to replace Aramark, based on the RFP and the info we collected.
This year, I’m working with Student Government to oversee the implementation of our new dining provider and making sure that students’ needs are being met. Through my dining advocacy, I’ve learned how to put leadership into practice by taking the charge on an issue and working with leaders through different organizations to create change. I hope to use the administrative skills I’ve learned in the future to work in government administration, improving operations and keeping government running effectively.