Summer 2019 Family Webinar Series: A Conversation with Housing and Dining

Hello all my name is Reggie Gacad and I
want to welcome you to the second webinar in the 2019 family webinar
series I am the assistant director for the First Year Center and tonight I am
joined by my two colleagues Will Andrews Associate Director for Residential Life
and Greg Minner Executive Director of Dining Services
we are excited you have chosen to join us for tonight’s conversation some
information before we get started first you will notice that we have given you
the ability to submit messages to us during this webinar using the chat
function please use this feature to ask us
questions these questions will only be seen by staff in the first year Center
and our panelists Will and Greg two of our graduate students are helping to
field these questions we will answer those we find applicable to the audience
as a whole on this webinar and will respond to more nuanced or personal
questions via email later this week let’s go ahead and make sure you know
how to use the chat feature send us a chat with the place that you’re watching
from and we will name a few of these places on-air second this webinar is
being recorded live after finishing tonight we will upload this webinar and
frequently asked questions on the topic to the website
lastly in a moment we will hear from Will and Greg about the services offered
by both Residential Life and Dining Services if something either of our
panelists says sparks a question don’t forget to chat us after hearing from
Will and Greg will move into the Q&A portion of the evening before passing
things along to our panelists I want to share some of the places people are
joining us from we have families tuning in from washington DC atlanta georgia
and seattle washington among others now since I know you all want to hear more
about our Housing and Dining resources I will turn
over to Will to first talk about residential life great so to kind of
share with you a little about residential life students are going to
be participating with living in our residential colleges and on this
slide here it kind of highlights each and every one in which home they’re
going to be visiting I mean living in when they come to Washington University
so we have a total of 10 Residential colleges in each shield each college has a shield
color and mission statement that they’re gonna learn when they come to Washington
University so on the Move-In day of August the 17th when you arrive to
campus we’re going to have volunteers here to help move you move your son and
daughter son or daughter into campus and yeah it’s a very fun and exciting day
with a lot of energy and we hope great weather here’s kind of a map of our
south 40 campus again each one’s highlighted and each individual color of
where those buildings are located and we’ve actually sent this in a mail to
all of the family so you’ll have this when you arrive to campus on the 17th
some things to talk about or what’s coming into the room we have extra long
beds twin sized beds that the students will be living in they’re carpeted each
come with a desk or a chair blinds windows all the amenities that they
would need to call their home away from home here at Wash U all of our buildings
have heating and air conditioned wireless internet and so yeah things
that students should consider bringing are alarm clocks, backpacks so forth all
on this list some things they shouldn’t bring is again AC yes it’s hot in St.
Louis but we have plenty of AC who for each of the students they should bring
no candles no water beds just the basic things
that are here on this list and again you’ll receive this in the mail and it’s
also on the first year Center website I wanted to share with you a couple of our
traditional room spaces and here in a couple of these photos you can see what
some of our students have done to really create their residential Hall as their
home so these pictures again hopefully will inspire this you and your student
of what potential your room could be when you come and this is kind of a
really good example of what a traditional room looks like here are
some examples of our modern rooms and again one thing I wants to you all to
understand is all of these rooms are very similar and very much alike it’s
all about what the student brings to the experience into the space so I encourage
them to be creative and we have a competition that we run each year where
students have an opportunity to kind of show off their space and we encourage
them to participate in it if you want to get in contact with us here at
residential life our hours are listed here our number and of course our email
address and we encourage you all to follow us on facebook twitter and our
instagram the other piece is this is an example of when you’re on our website
some areas of where you can learn more about each of the residential college
and also where your student will get very important information about where
they’re living on our site we list out our staff members so we have community
direct residential college directors those are master level individuals that
live in the hall and kind of manage we also have live-in faculty that live in
the residence halls also and then of course we have RAs student technology
coordinators that are there to assist your student in their experience at Wash
U and all of those resources are on our website for each
residential colleges information that they’re going to become very used to is
their housekeeping cleaning schedule so we our staff comes
in weekly and again it lists their the times of days of when they’re going to
be in to clean the spaces and kind of the items of what they clean when they
come in and again all of this is available on our website requests as far
as if things break in their room or just requesting we have a maintenance request
form online and that’s where your student will log on to submit any
maintenance requests such as if a light bulb goes out they would go on here and
submit that request on our website and then for anything pertaining to the
housing portal to submit request such as a room change or a meal plan change all
of those requests go through our Washu housing portal which they have access
through web stac and then yeah there we go and then when they apply for housing
next year they will log back in on our WashU housing portal to submit their
application through here so these are two very important resources that we
want you and your student to be familiar with one is the website for our request
forms and the other is our portal thank you Will for sharing that insightful
information well here you speak I was reminded of a question I have for you
what is the difference between a modern residence hall versus a traditional
residence hall right so very similar how I showed in the pictures many of our
spaces they all look alike one of the biggest distinctions between
them is in some of our traditional halls we have Suites that have common living
room areas where students can build their community within the suite that
they share and then in many of our modern halls those are typically Suites
of four individuals and they share a common bathroom but they don’t have
common living areas yes thank you I’m now going to invite
Greg to speak with us about Dining Services thank you it’s a great
opportunity to be here and I just am so welcoming that we can talk to the class
of 2023 tonight and talk to them about dining so we we’re glad to be here
Dining Services provides many opportunities for dining for students on
campus and one of the things that is so important about dining is that we are
here to meet the students needs both nutritionally but also to keep those
needs and meet them as they go through their day whether they’re working across
campus in a classroom environment or they’re looking for something that they
want to have a group of friends and eat dinner at the Bears Den or at the DUC
so we are here to do that we have some wonderful chefs that provide authentic
cuisine for students one of the things that we do is we make sure that we have
fresh opportunities for students to dine some of the freshest produce and
different things that we come that we get locally and so we really strive just
today I was talking with some of our chefs as they were working on some new
recipes for the Fall they’re introducing some new soups that I think we’re just
gonna be very tasty a new pizza recipe that they’re working on for folks
and so what we do is we try to listen to the students our chefs work the students
day in and day out to provide what we call authetic dining opportunities and
make sure that we can meet them whether they’re on the go or they’re in a dining
operation some of the things that you someone might have questions about is
the meal plans and what meal plan should I select so our first-year students are
given the opportunity to have a platinum gold or silver plan and those are a lot
measured by you know the desires of what they eat maybe if they’re an athlete
they’re going to be around campus quite a bit different operations around campus
where they have Intramurals or club sports going on and they’re looking for
a lot of food I should say maybe quite a bit of food to eat and so they might be
looking at the platinum plan the gold plan is designed
for an active lifestyle of a student but maybe they’re a little bit more choosy
or and what they choose to go to eat and different opportunities that they have
in that and then the silver plan which is the most popular plan and any a
freshmen student coming in would will be required to have the silver plan but may
look at that one as meeting their needs and so when we designed that plan we
looked at what is the average eating of a student per day and so that we can
make sure that we can meet those needs throughout the semester
another thing that’s available to students is Bear Bucks parents you can
go on and load the Bear Bucks for your students these are opportunities if you
eat in any of the Washington University Dining Services operations they’re very
similar used as your dining as your meal plan is and those are tax free Bear
Bucks is also available to build it so that your student doesn’t have to carry
any cash or a credit card or anything it’s all on their meal plan or excuse me
it’s all on their campus card ID and so that’s provided for them and they can
load those funds on there or you can load those funds on there for your
student one of the things that we get often asked is what about my special
diet or something that I have might be allergic to or I’m looking to make sure
that I eat a certain way on campus and so you will see as you look at the menus
online and you come into a dining operation on campus that we have what
are called icons that you can see and look and see if you maybe have an
allergen or something like that or you’re trying to stay away from certain
things maybe tree nuts are not part of your diet so that you can see that this
may contain that or maybe soy or contains eggs or something like that
that you’re looking for that you don’t want to eat we also have special diet
designations so if you’re on campus and you’re dining at one of the operations
across campus and you’re looking for a certified kosher or halal meals those
are marked in the pre-packs for you if you’re a vegan or you’re eating vegan or
vegetarian we have those proudly marked for you so
that you can see them when you come up to look at the selection one of the other things is bear balance
so we’re always concerned about nutrition want to make sure that you get
the most out of your meal plan so you would see this icon across campus
if you’re looking to make sure that your meals are balanced with two ounces of
protein two ounces of whole grain and fruit if you’re making sure that you are
eating a balanced meal you all you have to do is look for the bear balance
symbol and that will provide you with looking at those meals as you go out
throughout the day another is various bears choice if you are concerned about
high calories from fat or you’re looking for things with less sodium
these are entrees and sandwiches that are marked so that you can see that
right on them and a lot of these are plant-based a lot of students are
looking for plant-based items and proteins and so you can see these that
are clearly marked on the sandwiches and the salads that you might pick up across
campus we also have a registered dietitian on staff so that if you would
like to have someone speak to you specifically about your special dietary
needs you can contact us at [email protected] so if
you’re out and about on campus and you’re looking for a place to eat we
have twelve different locations across campus and some of those might be just
that you’re looking for a cup of coffee maybe you’re at the Olin library and you
stop in to whispers and you want to get just a cup of coffee or maybe you’re at
the DUC and you want to be able to enjoy some different dining operations
and different things so we have plenty of locations across campus and of course
if you’re in the South 40 the Bears Den and Paws and go can
provide you with some really great eating opportunities we also have two
new locations this fall opening up one of them is called Parkside Cafe which is
on the east side of campus if you’re down near where Brookings Drive was
you’ll see now the Schnuck pavilion as you come in as you’re visiting campus
and the Schnuck Pavilion will have the Parkside Cafe we also are opening up
Etta’s a micro Market which is in the architectural school and those the
architectural school is actually reopening Etta’s
there previously but now it’s gonna be a micro market that’s open 24 hours a day
for students to be able to enjoy and then we’ll also have as I said earlier
Parkside Cafe which is opening right in the center in front of Brookings and the
ship pavilion it’s a couple of things that are really great about dining is
that you we have two different apps on campus tapingo is one that we just
released this past spring semester that whispers if you’re at whispers you can
actually do an order there at the kiosk or you can actually do it on your phone
and we’re also introducing that at our new cafe which I mentioned earlier on in
the Schnuck Pavilion in the Parkside Cafe and so we will be offering the tapingo
or during opportunity if you’re moving it about campus and you’re at the if
you’re going to the DUC or you’re going to the village or the bears den and you
want to put your order in early we have what’s called get food that can also be
used if you want to eat allergen-free you can put orders into that so that the
chef knows that maybe you’re looking for something without any gluten in it he
can specifically make that for you or if you have an allergic reaction to
something like that with no nuts or something like that you can actually go
to get food and put in your order to receive it either at the DUC which
excuse me at the Duc at the village or at the bears den so as always if you’re
looking for information or you want to talk to one of our chefs or something
like that you can always reach us at [email protected] we also have a phone number on the screen that
you can contact us our chefs are here to help you and make sure that your dining
opportunities are the best at any University you’ve ever been to and we
are very proud of that so we hope that you enjoy dining thank you Greg for
sharing that information while hearing you speak I thought of a
question I have for you will there be food options open on campus for those
students who may need to stay over say winter break
yes what we do is we try to find out students that are staying for the winter
break so we want to make sure that if they are here that we do have dining
options for campus and we don’t have all the 12
locations open but we do have opportunities for them to eat on campus
by their here during the holiday season of the holiday break or winter break
where can I find that information if I were a student staying over Thanksgiving
break or something like that you define it on the dining app or you can find that information on the website ( and we make that
information available to students on the digital TVs in the locations across
campus amazing thank you so we have some questions from our parent family members
joining us does my student need bed risers how tall
are the beds so your student does not need bed risers all of our beds in
our residence halls adjusts anywhere between three to four different heights
something many of the students like to raise their beds all the way up to the
top so that they can push the dresser drawer that comes with the room
underneath the bed and typically like a plastic bin of some sort so risers
aren’t necessary but if the students want to have them then they definitely
can bring them but I think with the different height adjustments on each of
the beds they’ll find that reasonable Will a second question do not first your
students room with only first-year students First Year students only live
with first year students and then can my students stay in their room during
breaks whether that’s fall break Thanksgiving winter break etc yes
students can we have a registration process of when students need to
register over long extended break periods and they’ll get emailed they’ll
receive email notification on how to register for those housing so we do
provide housing during winter break Thanksgiving break and spring break so
can you explain what gender inclusive housing is gender inclusive housing is
an opportunity to support students that want to choose a living community based
off of the gender of their choice and we pair students up with individuals who
choose to be a part of that exact same community so it’s inclusive of any
gender of how any student identifies thank you so you mentioned this a little
bit in your presentation but what does housekeeping actually do so
housekeeping goes into the students rooms once a week and they ensure that
the bathroom area is clean they don’t go in and clean the room itself but and in
spaces where there are common room areas they’ll sometimes go in and kind of just
sweep make sure the hallways and those areas are definitely clean the students
really do create a bond with the house keeping services so the students will
know their housekeepers by name because it’s always typically the same people
entering in and out of their spaces thank you you mentioned a little bit
earlier about the different people that students will meet or people that they
have a support systems in the residence halls can you talk a little bit more
about the faculty fellows and the faculty associates so our faculty
fellows live in the residence halls with their families in the halls with the
students and they’re provided apartments where they entertain and host students
over so that’s that group of and then our faculty associates are individuals
outside of the classroom that have that work with our students bringing
academics into the residence halls is there a laundry room in
each of the residence halls yes laundry is on every building within the
residence halls so we have plenty of washers and dryers and students all they
use is their Bear Bucks card to be able to access and pay for laundry moving
over towards the dining services pieces do meal points roll over they were
from fall semester to spring semester yes and then in terms of my student
using their meal points would would we be able to be reimbursed for unused meal
points or how does that work although only although we don’t reimburse at the
end of the year what we do is we monitor the students and how they’re using their
meal plan so that we make sure that they are getting the best for their
opportunities and whatever meal plan that they choose and so what we do is
make sure the student sees every time if they use it or have a transaction with
their meal plan they can see how much how many dollars they actually have on
it and they can adjust up or down by in the first two weeks of a decision on
what you know maybe they need a bigger meal plan because they’re using that so
what we do is to kind of give them that information upfront so that they know as
they move into the semester that they can monitor their own dining so now they
have this meal plan and they have that responsibility to be able to you know
decide when they’re eating and how much they’re going to eat so and one of the
great things about your portal is that you additionally not only have how many
points that they have left but also the suggested number of points based off of
how far in the semester create our meal points the same thing as Bear Bucks
can you explain a little bit more about that no your your meal plan is one of
them that you’ve chosen like whether you have the gold the platinum or the silver
and that has so many points or dollar value to that that you can use in all
the dining and the WashU dining operations that we have on campus and so
Bear Bucks is loaded separately so that that’s used for like Will had mentioned
in your laundry to do your laundry or maybe to buy books in the bookstore you
can also use the Bear Bucks in the dining operations so that you don’t in
case you don’t have your card or you’re thinking for you whatever your card frankly yeah so that you know that if you’re if you
don’t want to use your dining points so maybe you’re taking a friend to lunch or
something you want to use the Bear Bucks you can do that in the dining operations
it kind of help supplement that – if you think you’re using too many points and
you want to load someone your Bear Bucks so that you have those to be able to use
in the dining operations across campus and Bear Bucks can be used at other locations if you go onto the that’ll show you different
locations that you can actually use your bare bucks at across campus and
off-campus thank you if a student runs out of meal points are there other
payment options in terms of the meal point area or would you suggest the Bear
Bucks oh I would suggest I’m going to the Bear Bucks or as they’re looking at that
in their first two weeks of being on campus that they’re monitoring what
they’re using if they see that they might need to do that maybe they want to
up the meal plan or they could get in contact with us we would be happy to sit
down with them talk to them about their meal plan that they’ve chosen making
sure that they’re getting the best bang for their buck basically I just say that
in the meal plan so that they can eat all across campus when they need to and
that they can use the meal plan to its best efficiency do all foods have a list
of ingredients associated with them yeah everything when you go to the app or you
look on the dining website you can see those ingredients that are listed on there
anything that we put onto the system that students would be able to eat it
will have a list of ingredients it’ll also tell you the allergens and if we
change something like that we change it in the system before it gets out to the
students so that they can actually see what they are eating thank you do you
train your staff about allergies and common food restrictions absolutely all
them go through food safety and food handling so that they know they also are
there to help students and if they have a question that a student comes up to
them and ask they are told make sure that you bring a manager or someone
close that they can talk with the student about that to make sure that
they’re meeting their dining needs thank you we are going to ask one last
question for the evening as a reminder any questions we were not able to answer
during this webinar will be addressed via email directly to the person who
posed the question this question is addressed to both of our panelists
starting with Will what action steps can families accomplish this summer to help
their student be ready for the fall I would encourage you to review our
website also review the first-year centers website regarding all move-in
information and just get excited and know that you might not you might
forget something but there are opportunities to get that when you
arrive thank you are there any action steps in terms of Dining Services that
family members should accomplish this summer to help their student I think it
would be great for you to go on and if they go there and they
check out they can see the different dining operations across campus they can
look at menus that we are posting already if they have questions they can
certainly contact us through they can send us an
email and we will get back to them maybe if they have special dietary needs that
they would like for us to address we can get it in touch with our registered
dietitian and they can talk to them about that and our Executive Chefs to
make sure that they’re getting their dining needs met thank you
Will and Greg the information you have provided this evening was extremely
helpful I am confident families of students in
the class of 2023 learned a lot from your presentations families we hope you
learned valuable information this evening stay tuned for our next webinar
a conversation with student financial services occurring on Wednesday, July
17th at 5:30 p.m. you can register for this webinar at
we’ll see you then

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