Montclair State University’s contract with Chartwells, the company currently running the campus’s dining services, will expire at the end of this year.
Andrew Mees, the university spokesperson, explained the current state of the contract with Chartwells.
“The university has given [Chartwells] a one-year extension for the 2022-2023 school year,” Mees said. “We plan to soon issue a Request for Proposals and will conduct a competitive bidding process to find a food service supplier that best fits our needs.”
There have been discussions between Montclair State University and Chartwells regarding how dining services will support the people within it. The contract with Chartwells is not secure toward a multi-year deal and it has been somewhat hectic for the university to find common financial ground with the company.
Mees also provided detail regarding the future of Montclair State’s dining services.
“Chartwells will be able to submit a proposal should they wish to do so,” Mees said. “Our goal is to have the chosen vendor in place for the 2023-2024 academic year. So, there will be limited, if any, changes to the meal plans or food choices [throughout] this year.”
With potential change looming, some students shared their thoughts on the current state of dining services. Zion Love-Stevens, a sophomore communication and media studies major is content with the state of things.
“I find the general food here great,” Love-Stevens said. “There’s no problem with accessing the food or getting to it and the quality of it is good itself.”
Love-Stevens said he would like to see some new dining locations.
“Any additional food place here would be great and I’m sure that all students at Montclair [State] would feel the same way in sharing excitement for it,” Love-Stevens said.
Sofia Guzman Cintron, a freshman exercise science major, shared her experience with dining services.
“When you first get on campus, the dining services seem slow because everyone is trying them out,” Guzman Cintron said. “I’d say the most annoying things are when there are long wait times and when they are out of what you want.”
Guzman Cintron also wishes there were more choices for vegetarian cuisine.
“It’s also annoying that there aren’t as many vegetarian options as I’d like, as only vegan burgers are available so it would be nice to see more diversity in them,” Guzman Cintron said. “Also, the labeling online is sometimes incorrect regarding [vegetarian] products, so it can be confusing.”
Jessica Lilly, a junior communication and media arts major, emphasized how the food spot depends on the individual student.
“In my opinion, I’d say the best place to eat on campus is Freeman Hall, I really enjoy it here compared to other spots on campus,” Lilly said. “I understand how with other food halls, there is a greater number of students going there to eat compared to [Freeman] so it is not as hectic.”
Lilly also shared how the hours of some food spots on campus are very important to her.
“The hours on campus really improved this year. Right now, I feel like the hours for a lot of food places are really good,” Lilly said. “In the event, you miss the hours of one spot, you could try one that is open during the night. Though, some places closing early on Fridays messes me up with the timing.”